Broughton High School and our community have a long history of supporting great causes. Each year, our ‘Caps Against Cancer’ student club volunteers to support the fight against breast cancer. This spring, the club and the entire Broughton community are supporting the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
We are dedicated to Komen’s mission of ending breast cancer nationwide, but in order to do this we need your help! Please read below to find out more about some of our very own Broughton High School faculty members who have been impacted by breast cancer.
Barbara Nichols: I was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram in August of 2014. Because my grandmother died of breast cancer, I have always been vigilant with screenings. I had surgery and completed treatment by February of 2015. I am grateful the cancer was caught early and that I had wonderful physicians and technicians who were encouraging and compassionate. I am also grateful to my mom, who has always insisted, because of our family history, that I am not allowed to miss a yearly mammogram!
Maria Childrey: At my annual wellness checkup in February 2021, I had a 3D mammogram. The test results showed a small spot that turned out to be DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ, a very early stage of breast cancer. I was shocked to learn this news, for I have no history of this disease in my family. Fortunately, it was found early! I had surgery over spring break to remove the cancer then followed up with 25 radiation treatments. I am cancer-free and very grateful for our excellent medical care in the Triangle!
Cassie Blackwelder: My mom passed away from lung to brain cancer in 2014 so, when I found a lump this past December, I was terrified. Immediately I contacted my doctor. My mom had a double mastectomy at 26 but the details were always fuzzy. What happened? Why did she have this? What kind of cancer was this? No one ever talked about it, and it was always a part of her past she didn't want to discuss. Because of her history, I've been on an elevated plan of care, so my doctors reviewed my scans from 6 months prior and saw nothing. They warned me this could be a benign mass, but it could be cancer. I spent the next few weeks getting poked, prodded, and having tissues sampled. And then we waited. The waiting was the worst. Surgery was recommended even though the mass appeared to be benign. I underwent surgery five weeks later and the mass was diagnosed as a fibroadenoma. While my story ends without a cancer diagnosis, I now understand the importance of early detection and monthly exams. It's important to take care of your body and ask questions about family history before it's too late.
Carol Allen: My yearly mammogram in January 2006 detected a formation of malignant cells and consequently, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After talking to my oncologist, I decided to have a lumpectomy and chemotherapy and radiation which was the standard protocol at that time for the type of cancer I had. This was an interruption to my busy life- as a mom, wife, and teacher. However, I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to improve my chances of a long life! After I lost all my hair, I wore a wig to school for a week. I hated it!! It was itchy and uncomfortable. In talking with my students, they decided they wanted to bring me different hats to wear- so everyday, students would bring me different ball caps and I proudly wore them! We had a lot of good discussions that year in my English classes about healthcare, insurance, treatment options, and the importance of positive attitudes! I got through that treatment period and eventually, my hair grew back. I was “normal” again. Then five years later- almost to the day- during my regular mammogram in 2011, I was diagnosed with a different type of cancer in my other breast. At that point, I decided to have a bi-lateral mastectomy. My oncologist at Rex was fabulous, as well as my surgeon, and I am so thankful to live where we can get great medical care so conveniently. Also, I am really grateful to be on the other side of that time in my life. My faith, family, and friends, along with my medical team, got me to the “other side” and I am so very thankful!
Kate Gaskins: I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2017 at the age of 34. Of course, this was a shock and a daunting challenge, but I got through it with the support of my family, an amazing medical team at UNC, and the Broughton community. Very fortunately, I am now nearly 6 years cancer-free! Going through this challenge clarified what is important to me - making memories with the people I love and standing up for what is right!
Jackie Abbott: Following several years of surgery, treatments, and more surgeries, breast cancer claimed the life of my dear Aunt Elsie, my mama’s sister. Soon after, mama was also diagnosed with a rapidly progressing type of breast cancer requiring surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and years of medication. As a result, mammograms were a part of my healthcare routine beginning at age 35. June of 2007, following a routine mammogram and on the day of my mom’s final chemotherapy treatment, I received a call acknowledging an abnormal lump in my right breast. A biopsy later in the week disclosed a malignancy. The original cancerous mass was small and easily removed in July, 2007. However, pathology reports indicated additional cells in the margins of the tumor which were a different type of breast cancer. A second surgery in August was successful in removing the second tumor. Following radiation treatments for four months and medication for five years, the surgeries and treatments were successful. I am thankful for expert doctors, advanced medical care, treatment plans, medications, advice, and the love and support of family and friends. Two of the first to reach out with a knock on my door and a loving but candid conversation were Broughton’s own Carol Allen and Sallie Jo Smith. I am blessed to be cancer free for fifteen years! Until there is a definitive cure for breast cancer, research is imperative. I am so thankful for community efforts to raise funds for research.
With your support, the funds raised will go towards research and provide assistance to those who are fighting breast cancer. Will you be able to help our Broughton community in the fight against breast cancer? We're stronger together. United as ONE, we can support those who need help today, while fearlessly searching for tomorrow's cures.
Add your name to the list!