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Stories of inspiration and hope

In today’s issue of The Demopolis Times, you got a special added bonus: Our quarterly issue of our magazine, ‘pink.’

We don’t think it is special just because we put it together. What makes this issue special is the content, as several women from our community brought us their stories and experiences with breast cancer.

We are very grateful to these women for making their stories public. It takes a great deal of courage to come forward and put such a story out there for all to see, but as you will read, courage is something that these women are not in short supply of.

There are a couple of reasons that we felt made it important to bring these stories to you. The fact the October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month inspired us to make breast cancer a focus for this issue. However, we wanted to feature local women who have experienced breast cancer to inspire others who have also dealt with breast cancer or who may be afraid to have themselves checked.

Each of the women featured in the magazine wants to encourage all women to either check themselves periodically or have mammograms regularly. The message I got from each of the women I interviewed was that early detection is the key to catching breast cancer early and treating it before it grows or spreads.

The women featured in this magazine — and millions of others just like them — are testaments to the fact that it is possible to not only survive breast cancer but to live their lives well after being diagnosed.

With research and developments in treatment, it is much more possible now than it was 50, 20, even 10 years ago.

We want to thank everyone who was willing to tell their stories to us and to our readers, but the best thanks would be for women to take their stories to heart and have themselves checked regularly, for all people to make donations to cancer foundations and organizations to further research.

That would give their stories the power to change lives.

In the 2007-08 Murray State University women’s basketball media guide, I wrote, “Breast cancer is a weed with roots that extend in all directions. In some way, someone you know or care for has been affected by breast cancer.”

If this was not true for you before today, after reading our magazine, it will become true. Please take the stories to heart, appreciate them for their messages and do something that will help make a difference in the battle with breast cancer.