AROUND TOWN: Breast-cancer survivors in pink hats celebrate life

June 19, 2014 Updated: June 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm
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Nancy Forgy, a 20 year breast cancer survivor, checked out the Komen Cruiser auctioned during the survivors luncheon. 053114 Photo by Linda Navarro

Celebration Saturday looked a bit like the Kentucky Derby because of the big, festive hats. With one exception - all the hats were pink.

It was the annual Komen Southeastern Colorado Survivors Luncheon on May 31 at the Antlers Hilton, and many of the 300 present were members of the survivors' sorority. Nametags, worn proudly, listed the length of survivorship - ranging from 45 years to three months.

A spirited pink-hat competition, won by Susan Murray in an Italian chapeux, raised $400.

Jaci Miller and her team from Macy's offered summer fashions and accessories for the runway. Miller, who was thanked by Komen Executive Director Nancetta Westcott, said Macy's stores in the U.S. donate $70 million to nonprofits and that nonprofit projects such as Komen "are the best thing I do." Then she handed Westcott a check for $1,500.

The three 2014 honorary chairs for the areas served by the local Komen affiliate were introduced and told their stories.

Pueblo's Peggy Matjazic's career had involved working with nuclear weapons at the Rocky Flats facility near Denver. She developed breast cancer in 2011 and, on April 6 of that year, she said "my breasts and I parted company." She told the other survivors, "one day cancer won't be the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think about at night."

Representing Teller County is Patsy Davis, who was recuperating from knee surgery when she saw a lump. "I had just had a mammogram and three months later I was diagnosed with breast cancer," she said. She required two surgeries. Today she tells women facing breast cancer, "we are not victims; we are victors." Her little cheerleader is niece Kylie Carlson, who is facing her own bout with cancer.

Courtney Chapin, a three-year survivor, represents El Paso County.

All three women will be part of the Sept. 7 Race for the Cure in Garden of the Gods.

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