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Sharon LaHue, above, co-chair of the third annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Harrison County, makes comments during the fundraising event. Photos by Julie Timberlake (click for larger version)

Walk to help stop cancer in its tracks


October 30, 2013 | 08:37 AM

The morning may have been chilly but it didn't stop 42 teams consisting of people of all ages, both male and female, from participating in the third annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in downtown Corydon. About 600 pink balloons decorated the town square.

"I know we raised well over $30,000," Sharon LaHue, co-chair of this year's fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, said. "Money is still coming in.

"The morning was very cold, but the walkers came out anyway, which we appreciate so much," she said.

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Firefighters don pink turn-out gear for the walk. (click for larger version)
New this year, which LaHue said was a "big hit," was a pink firetruck from the Vine Grove, Ky., Fire Dept. There were even a couple of firefighters who participated decked out in pink turn-out gear.

In addition to her co-chair duties, LaHue was the guest speaker. As a breast cancer survivor, she told how her mammogram came back "abnormal" in March 2011.

She said she didn't think it was a big deal, that it was likely due to calcifications; after all, there was no family history of breast cancer.

"Then, my doctor told my husband and me that I had breast cancer ... invasive ductal carcinoma," she said, adding that she and her husband, Eldon, were "devastated."

LaHue said it's true that "you hear nothing after hearing the dreaded C word."

Family and friends rallied and began praying. LaHue was faced with the difficult decision of whether to have a lumpectomy, a mastectomy or a double mastectomy.

"My surgeon left that decision up to me," she said. "After weeks of wrestling with it, I decided to do a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I did not want to face another surgery later on."

During the surgery, 11 lymph nodes were removed to determine if the cancer had spread. LaHue said just one node had cancer cells in it.

"So, that meant I had to have chemo, the other dreaded C word," she said.

LaHue spent the summer of 2011 receiving chemo treatments, "feeling horrible" and losing her hair.

"I was determined not to let breast cancer change my life," she said, "so, when the doctor said it was OK, I was back at Zumba.

"My Zumba family was so supportive of me, and they still are," she said. "It helped so much to get out, see everyone and to sweat that poison out of me."

LaHue credits her husband, who supported her decision, with taking "great care" of her. She said the ordeal brought them closer.

"It has been two years and seven months since my diagnosis, and I am cancer free," she said. "Now, I'm dealing with the side effects of the medicine I have to take for five years, weight gain, joint and muscle pain. I am afraid if I give in and stop, I won't be able to move at all. So, I keep going and again Zumba is helping me."

LaHue said she also asked God to give her the strength to make it through.

"He was given me that strength and so much more," she said. "God is faithful, and I am truly blessed."

LaHue's daughter-in-law, Marcee LaHue, led a warm-up period with a Zumba routine to Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" before the walk.

Breast cancer survivors in attendance were recognized and given a pink rose and a medal. And, as each team departed the Corydon town square for the walk, a team picture was taken.

LaHue said that co-chair Mary Ann Schenck and all committee members worked hard to make this year's event a success.

"We are looking forward to making next year's walk even better," LaHue said.

WHAS 11 TV personality Kelsey Starks served as emcee, and Nick Allen was the DJ.

An unnamed judge selected Little Texas Consignment shop as the winner of the store decorating contest, according to LaHue.

LaHue said that everyone who participated in Saturday's Making Strides event was there to support each other and the American Cancer Society.

"We are here for our children and grandchildren," she said. "We want to stop breast cancer in its tracks. We must keep up the fight."

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