Beth Cumming's Shares Breast Cancer Story

Published 09/27 2013 10:11AM

Updated 09/27 2013 10:19AM

For women battling breast cancer, there's nothing scarier than battling it alone. Fortunately, there are several ways local women can face this frightening journey together.

Beth Cummings was very new to the area, when she was first diagnosed.  You might see her every day, but avoid stopping to find out why.

Above Franklin Street and Burkhart Road, Beth is sharing her story.  A story far too familiar to one-in-eight women.

"We had 16 people in our office at work, one lady had had breast cancer. She just came back to the office from being off from her sick time. So then I was diagnosed, so it just really hit home that that's definitely that number is a true number."

It was July 2010.  Beth had two unsuccessful lumpectomies, followed by a mastectomy.

"The mastectomy honestly petrified me. You're imagining what you're gonna look like, how it's gonna affect what you look like and how your clothes fit and how people are going to perceive you.  So it was very frightening."

Beth had to stay strong.  She was a single mom at the time to two teenaged daughters.

"It was very emotional seeing your parent who's always been there for you in so much pain. I think that was the hardest thing for me and she's my rock and I've always gone there to help her and it's very different when they actually need your help. It was really hard to cope with."

New to town, Beth found strength in the ribbon chicks, a breast cancer support group for women under 45.

"It's strange what a sisterhood it's become. I have a whole group of women that's become family to me ever since this happened"

Family that continues to grow through Race For the Cure. Beth participated in her first one just months after diagnosis.  She calls it the most empowering thing she's ever experienced.

"I just turned around and saw all those women who had been through it before me, they're all thriving they're all there with their families. It gave me a sense of hope and more determination because I knew I'd be okay too."

Her daughters now walk annually by her side. Breast cancer even inspired her oldest, Samantha, to volunteer with Susan G. Koman at tissue banks.  She'll be doing that in Kenya next year. It also forced Stephanie to grow up quick. She's graduating high school a year early so she can attend college for a career in education.

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