South Georgia Tech Observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month
South Georgia Technical College welcomed breast cancer survivor Dawn James Ellis to the Americus campus recently to speak with students, faculty and staff members during a breast cancer awareness program. The college’s Student Government Association chapter hosted and organized the program with the help of director of career services and student organizations Cynthia Carter.
The event, which was held in the Hicks Hall common room, was organized in order to raise awareness of breast cancer risks, identify the value of screening and early detection and educate on the various treatment options available for the many forms of breast cancer.
In order to raise awareness, Ellis spoke to the more than 30 attendants about her battle with breast cancer for about 30 minutes.
Ellis’ journey began in 2008, just days before her father passed away. After seeing a commercial on TV, she performed a self-test and found what multiple doctors would confirm to be triple-negative breast cancer. Her doctors decided that an aggressive treatment would be the only way to beat the cancer, beginning with an immediate mastectomy of her right breast, which she underwent just days after being diagnosed with the disease.
Although the troubled area was cut away, Ellis’ battle didn’t end there. She detailed of the hard months that followed while she underwent chemotherapy. Although she struggled emotionally and physically to cope with the pain, she knew that she had to stay positive despite everything.
After a year of battling, Ellis beat cancer in 2009 and has been a survivor for 9 years – a number that is reflected in the number of butterfly tattoos on her right shin.
Following her testimony, several people whose lives have been touched by cancer in one form or another stood to express their gratitude to Ellis for sharing her story and to encourage others to get checked for the disease.
Breast cancer awareness month is observed each October in an attempt to increase awareness and raise funds for research into breast cancer’s cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and a cure.