Breast Cancer Survivors spread awareness

By Alyssa Donovan

March 16, 2013 Updated Mar 16, 2013 at 6:41 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill.-- Breast Cancer survivors and friends gathered Saturday for a special breakfast, where they shared their stories and helped spread awareness.

Cassandra Booker is a 3 time breast cancer survivor...

Booker said, "I went through chemo and radiation all three times... And here I am!"

Booker is a member of the Circle of Promise, an outreach program through Susan G. Komen for the Cure that works to inspire and inform African American women.

Saturday morning breast health awareness and prevention were the focus of the Promise Breast Cancer Survivor, Caregiver and Friends breakfast at the Par-a-dice Hotel.

Booker said, “Doing a self breast exam, having yourself checked out, just being breast conscious and knowing more about breast health is really the key to surviving this."

Almost 500 people came out to support one another and hear stories of survival and learn more about preventing the disease.

Lead Mammo tech at Methodist Medical Center, Teresa Pheasant says all women should be screened early to detect cancer, but African American women especially.

Pheasant said, "Cancers in the African American women tend to be more aggressive and the earlier they can be treated the better the outcomes."

And while Susan G. Komen for the Cure works to spread awareness, CityLink is providing special services to help those diagnosed.

CityLink Marketing and PR Assistant, Emily Watson said, "Our City Lift will provide you service from the door of your house to the cancer centers or the Susan G. Komen center, anywhere that you need to go."

And as organizations throughout the Peoria area do what they can to help and support those fighting breast cancer, Booker says people diagnosed need to stay positive.

Booker said, "For women who are currently battling breast cancer, do not let the symptoms take over... Be positive... And always have a positive attitude about surviving this."

Which is the kind of inspiration and information that the Circle of Promise is all about.