Breast cancer awareness month hits home for Lancers

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This cancer af- fects both men and women across the country.

According to the National Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness, breast cancer is the second leading type of cancer in American women.

In the next year alone, it is pre- dicted that over 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and of these, more than 40,000 will lose their lives to this disease. Although this is true, men are not exempt; over 1,700 American men will be diagnosed in the next year.

Freshman at California Baptist University student, Alan Potrus, volun- teered to share his experience in dealing with this cancer.

Potrus’s mother, Ban Potrus was di- agnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2010. Upon receiving the news he and his family were devastated. “You never think it’s going to happen to you” says Potrus, “and there’s really nothing you can do about it besides be there for her.”

Although the diagnosis was less than desirable, Potrus claims his mother never lost hope but rather praised God for taking care of her. Her doctor’s appointment was not due for another four months, but yet she felt the need to go earlier, a decision that doctors now say saved her life.

Potrus explained that his mother is so thankful for God and the people placed in her life as they have support- ed her, visiting her in the hospital and showering her with their prayers.

The week after the diagnosis Potrus was scheduled to play in the Villapark high school, Coaches vs. Cancer bas- ketball game, where all proceeds made were designated to fund cancer research.

This event now held a different meaning to Potrus than years past. “My family was just so sad, I wanted to make my mom happy,” he said. After play- ing the best game of his season, with a 20 point win, Potrus did just that. He looked up to see his mom in the stands smiling back at him.

Beyond this event, Potrus participated in the 20th annual Race for the Cure, as he alongside his mother, and countless other family and friends raised money to fund cancer research.

Potrus’s mother has since then been through surgeries, radiation treatment and will soon start chemotherapy. When asked how Potrus and his fam- ily deal with such events he said, “God helps a lot,” and “Without him there is nothing to live for.” To everyone dealing with loved ones who are experiencing such an illness, Potrus said that, “treat- ment is a long process, all that you can do is be there to comfort someone, and the rest is up to God.”

In an effort to fight breast cancer, the city of Riverside will be hosting the first ever “Pink on Parade,” walk against breast cancer this month. At 9 a.m. Sat. Oct. 29, participants will gather at Fairmount Park, in downtown Riverside to begin raising money for Riverside’s breast cancer resource cen- ter, the Pink Ribbon Place. To become a participant, or support an existing par- ticipant, register online at http://www. firstgiving.com/thepinkribbonplace/ pink-on-parade.

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