The Miami Herald

Barbara Levy

To all the women of the Universe.... I encourage you to make this a year-round dedication. This past June marks my fifteenth year anniversary of being a breast cancer survivor. That one call changed my life; it was the results of my yearly routine mammogram. First there was denial and then fear. My life, confidence and femininity was threatened at a relatively young age. The following weeks consisted of a journey that only those that have walked it can understand. The following days consisted of doctor visits, tests, scans, and biopsies. Four weeks and four doctor opinions later I underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. The best news of all was that the lymph nodes were clear and I did not need any chemo or radiation. While all this was happening, I joined a breast cancer support group that gave me the strength to start my fight for survival and for every one that walked through our door. I decided to dedicate and educate as may women I could in awareness and prevention. I joined Reach to Recovery, a volunteer organization of the American Cancer Society which helps women that have just been diagnosed. A few years later I found the best medicine for myself....belly dancing....a part of my journey....'from breast cancer to belly dancer.' I volunteer for Gilda's club once a month....we 'swirl and twirl' with the magical veil and serpentine movements. Foremost and most important is the Breast Cancer Support Group that meets every Tuesday night at 7p.m. A wonderful group of women, led by our facilitator Brenda Ferriolo for the past eighteen years and recently I have been privileged to be co-facilitator. We must pay tribute to this amazing support group that has been meeting for the last eighteen years every week, come rain or shine at 7p.m. Memorial Hospital South on Washington Street in Hollywood. Every Tuesday night at 7p.m. Thank you for letting me share my story, Barbara



© 2009 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.miamiherald.com