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Running to fight cancer

Haughton resident Cynthia Colvin will be participating in her first Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure fundraiser event next month in honor of her mother, Joyce Blount.

Woman remembers mother with fitness fundraiser

Cynthia Colvin was 13-years-old when she first heard the words breast cancer.

The year was 1976 when her mother, Joyce Blount, broke the news that would ultimately change their lives.

“She said [the doctors] found a lump and that they needed to do a biopsy,” the Haughton resident recalled. “Based on those results, she said they would decide where to go from there.”

Colvin, who was in the eighth grade at the time, said she didn’t think much about it because her mother and doctors didn’t seem too concerned about it. The biopsy, however, showed the lump was in fact malignant.

Following the diagnosis, Joyce opted to have a complete mastectomy on her right breast and radiation treatments. The cancer returned years later, but this time in her left breast.

Colvin said her mother opted, again, for a complete mastectomy and a five year treatment with tamoxifen, a hormone therapy for breast cancer, at MD Anderson.

Joyce was diagnosed with cancer for the third time in 1999. This time, her cancer was in the breastbone and she was only given four to six months to live.

Despite the grim prognosis, Colvin said her mother stayed true to her faith in Jesus Christ

“She was a firm believer in God and never once questioned her faith in him,” Colvin said. “She never gave up and she firmly believed whatever happened was meant to be.”

Colvin and her brothers talked Joyce into going back to MD Anderson one more time to see if there was anything they could do for her. Joyce’s life expectancy went from a few months to four years with another round of treatments.

Colvin said those four years with her mother were ones she will never forget.

“She was just a wonderful person,” Colvin said. “She was the best person to teach you life lessons. She was compassionate and loved people. She would do anything to help.”

Joyce Blount lost her battle to cancer in February 2004. Today, Colvin is on a journey that will take her 60 miles in three days for one reason – to honor her mother’s life and raise awareness for all people affected by breast cancer.

Colvin will be participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure fundraiser event in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex just weeks from now. Participants walk approximately 20 miles a day, from sunrise to sunset, starting on Friday, Nov. 1, until the closing ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 3. Participants are encouraged to campout at base camp, complete with a dining tent, hot showers, pink sleeping tents, evening entertainment and various other activities and helpful resources.

The 3-Day for the Cure event is a first for Colvin and unlike anything she has ever done before. She began a training regiment in June, opting to wake up at 5:30 every morning to walk along the riverfront and exercising at Fitness Lady in Bossier City after work.

With each mile, Colvin said she will be one step closer to her ultimate goal.

“This is something I really wanted to do. [Breast cancer] affects so many people and families,” Colvin said. “Self awareness and education is key to early detection. Make the time to get checked. You have to be proactive, not just reactive.”

However, there’s one more goal she needs to meet before she can even leave for the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Colvin has to raise a minimum of $2,300 to participate in the 3-Day event.

The money raised through the event is used helps fund community education and outreach programs in communities around the world.

“Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds raised by the Komen 3-Day help support national research and large public health outreach programs. The remaining 25 percent supports local community and Affiliate outreach programs,” the event website states. “No other breast cancer event in the country asks you to walk as far or raise as much money as the 3-Day. It is simply the boldest thing you can do in the fight to end breast cancer.”

Colvin still has a ways to go to reach her $2,300 goal. She said the support of her Fitness Lady family and the community has helped her raise just over $1,000 so far, an achievement she called a true blessing.

Colvin said her mother’s outlook on cancer is her motivation for enduring the 60 mile challenge. She knows that each small step for women is a giant step forward for generations to come.

“No matter what happens, I’m going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and remember the cause,” she said. “Mom never gave up and neither will I.”

The deadline for Colvin to turn in donations is Monday, Oct. 28. Those who would like to make a donation to help her reach the $2,300 requirement can drop off a donation at Fitness Lady, 1700 Old Minden Rd #180 in Bossier City, or by visiting her event website at www.the3day.org/goto/cynthiacolvin.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.