Local woman’s cancer battle uncovers family link

A Midlands woman’s fight against breast cancer led to a discovery that may save the lives of her sisters and daughters.

Click for Video: wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina

Kelly, Kathryn and Ashley
Kelly, Kathryn and Ashley

Kathryn Robinson’s cancer battle started more than two years ago.  “I was preparing to go to work, and while I was in the shower I just accidentally felt a lump in my breast,” said Robinson.

It had been less than two months since Robinson’s yearly mammogram, but she knew something wasn’t right. “I called the doctor and went in that afternoon,” said Robinson. “He sent me in for an ultrasound that next Monday.”

Just a few days after the ultrasound Robinson was diagnosed with breast cancer and life immediately changed for her and her family.

“When my mom was diagnosed and she talked about getting genetic testing done, that’s the first time I had ever heard of the gene,” said Robinson’s 24 year-old daughter, Ashley Lyons.

Robinson’s family quickly learned about the BRCA gene malformation. It’s hereditary and when present greatly increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In the midst of chemo, Kathryn tested positive for the gene.

“I had eight rounds of chemotherapy, and I was scheduled to do radiation after that, but because I was positive with the BRCA2 gene, they did a bilateral mastectomy,” said Robinson.

Doctors at Lexington Medical Center recommended the mastectomy and a hysterectomy in hopes of eliminating Robinson’s future cancer risks. They also advised her family to get tested for the gene.

“I had one sister that wasn’t interested in getting tested and a younger sister that I can usually persuade to do just about anything… she went and got tested,” said Robinson.

As it turned out, Robinson’s sister Kelly Moore also tested positive for the gene malformation. “I feel like I’m the lucky one,” said Moore. “Kathryn helped to educate me, and I had all of her valuable information for what she had gone through.

Moore chose to have her ovaries removed as a preventive measure, and is now getting more frequent breast exams. For Robinson’s daughter Ashley, the decision was more difficult.

“At first, I did not want to know,” said Ashley. “I did not want to be tested.” But Ashley says her older sister talked her into being tested for the gene. While her older sister does not have the BRCA malformation, Ashley does.

“At first I was like how do you test positive and do nothing about it…so that was kind of hard in the beginning,” said Ashley.

But medical oncologist Dr. Steve Madden at Lexington Medical center says at Ashley’s young age it’s okay not to undergo preventive surgery as long as she’s pro-active. “As long as you’re aware, you’re going to be on top of anything and catch it much earlier if it develops at all,” added Dr. Madden.

Kathryn has been a survivor now for two years. Her family calls her a lifesaver. “She was very positive, and she inspired all of us to take a fighting approach to it,” said Moore.

Dr. Madden says doctors usually advise anyone diagnosed with breast cancer who is under the age of 50 to be tested for the gene. They also advise immediate family members of breast cancer patients to be tested, as well.

Click for the full video: WIS TV VIDEO

LMC Receives Susan G. Komen Foundation Grant for Mammogram Screening

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Lexington Medical Center has received a grant from the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation’s SC Mountains to Midlands affiliate to provide 230 breast cancer screenings for uninsured and underinsured women in the Midlands.

Lexington Medical Center will begin offering the screenings to women who meet specific financial requirements. The grant money can also be used to assist with transportation to Women’s Imaging Centers in Lexington Medical Center’s network of care.

“We have always been able to help women who need diagnostic mammograms, but screening mammograms were more difficult to provide,” said Kelly Jeffcoat, Lexington Medical Center Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator. “The Komen grant enables us to offer screening mammograms which are often successful in detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages.”
The goal is early detection and treatment. Clinicians know that early detection is key to successful treatment of breast cancer.

“The biggest problem with patients who are uninsured is that they rarely have access to routine screening mammography.” said Chris Gibson, Lexington Medical Center oncology social worker.  “With these screenings, we have the potential to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages when cure rates are much higher.”
Lexington Medical Center diagnoses approximately 250 breast cancer patients each year.  The hospital’s breast program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR).  Lexington Medical Center has four Women’s Imaging centers and a mobile mammography van, all offering digital mammography.  During treatment, breast cancer patients receive the assistance of a nurse navigator who provides education and emotional support. Lexington Medical Center’s cancer program is also accredited with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

This is the second time that this chapter of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has awarded Lexington Medical Center a grant for breast cancer screenings.  The first one was in 2011 and provided approximately 250 screenings to women in the Midlands. During those screenings, two breast cancers were detected. This year, the hospital expanded the number of counties included in the grant, allowing a broader group of women in the Midlands to benefit from screening mammograms.

For more information about the grant screenings, including eligibility requirements, call 803- 791-2521.

About Lexington Medical Center

Lexington Medical Center, in West Columbia, S.C., anchors a county-wide health care network that includes six community medical centers throughout Lexington County and employs a staff of 5,900 health care professionals.  The network also includes the largest extended care facility in the Carolinas, an occupational health center and more than 60 physician practices.  At its heart is the 414-bed state-of-the-art Lexington Medical Center, with a reputation for the highest quality care.  Lexington Medical Center won “Best Hospital” by readers of The State for ten years in a row, “Best Hospital” by readers of the Free Times, “Best Place to Have a Baby” by readers of Palmetto Parent, the “Consumer Choice Award” from the National Research Corporation and the prestigious “Summit Award” from Press Ganey.  Visit http://www.lexmed.com.

About the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest breast cancer organization.  It was started by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.  Komen’s SC Mountains to Midlands affiliate is one of 125 affiliates around the nation dedicated to ending breast cancer in our communities.  Komen affiliates fund innovative programs that help women and men overcome the barriers to breast cancer screening and treatment.  For more information, visit http://www.komenscmm.org.

T.G.F.A.D.

By: Katie Austin

By the middle of every week (sometimes by the end of Monday), I find myself looking forward to Friday, knowing that the weekend is almost here.  Then, come Sunday evening, the Monday blues settle in as I prepare myself for another work week.  I wonder where the time has gone and notice the weeks are moving faster as I get older.  Even as I write this, I can’t believe we are almost to May! I begin to wonder how I can capture the Friday-feel-good feeling every day during the week. Wouldn’t it be great if every day were Friday?!  Of course. But how can I bottle up this feeling so that I can spritz it on at the start of each day?

Then, it hits me! The light bulb over my head is aglow and I realize that I can feel like it’s Friday every day!  How, you ask?  All we need to do is change the way we look at those “other” days during the week. Yes, even Monday 🙂  Now, I look at every day as Thank God For Another Day.  Instead of being thankful for just Friday and being happy that I made it to the end of the work week, I try to remind myself that I am thankful each day that I wake up. I am thankful to have a job, a wonderful group of family and friends, and the opportunity to make each day one to remember.

T.G.F.A.D.

I know some of you are thinking, “Katie, take off those rose-colored glasses!”   But as I bring those rose-colored glasses to the end of my nose, I peek over the top of them to ask one simple question: if you knew today would be your last, would you feel the same way??  No matter what is going on in your life, you can find something positive when you look at life differently.  Believe that no matter what happens today, if you are given another day, things can change. We should look forward to tomorrow!  I am thankful even for the bad days, as I realize I am a strong person and that life events prepare us for future challenges.  I wouldn’t have made it through my breast cancer battle without first getting stronger from my past struggles.  You can and you will get through life hurdles, small and tall, when you believe that you can and when you are thankful for every day.

Life has a way of speeding up as we get older.  I think we should pause often, be thankful, and appreciate each day for what it’s worth.  Seize the day and make it one to remember!

Katie

Pink Glove Dance Voting Extended to Friday, Nov. 2!

Medline has extended voting for the Pink Glove Dance Competition until Friday, November 2!

We still have a long way to go and voting for our video has slowed down. Please keep spreading the word to family and friends across the country and encouraging them to vote for us.

You can also bring your friends and family to Lexington Medical Center Gamecock Village and the Lexington Oktoberfest to vote for our video. Pink Glove volunteers will be at Lexington Medical Center Gamecock Village, located next to Williams-Brice Stadium, from 8:00 – 11:30 a.m. and Lexington Oktoberfest in downtown Lexington from 12:00 noon – 3:30 p.m. Both events are this Saturday!

And if you haven’t already, please go to www.pinkglovedance.com, scroll down the “L-M” page for LMC and click “VOTE” on our video. If you need access to a computer or a Facebook page, please come by Marketing at 107 West Hospital Drive from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. We’ll be happy to help you.

It’s because of the incredible support of our LMC family that we’ve come this far. The world is watching, so let’s show them what we’ve got and bring back-to-back National Pink Glove Dance Championships to Lexington Medical Center!

Learn the Pink Glove Dance!

This year for our Pink Glove Dance Video, we were fortunate to have Stacy Ashley be our choreographer once again!  This is the second year in a row that Lexington Medical Center is entering the international Pink Glove Dance video contest sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc., a company that makes pink exam gloves.  The project honors cancer survivors and raises awareness about breast cancer.

Our hospital’s 2012 Pink Glove Dance features the compelling story of Lexington Medical Center nurse Amy Kinard of Lexington, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 34.  The video is shot in our hospital and around our community – including at a highly-energized Williams-Brice Stadium, on a special pink glove skydiving adventure and inside a rock star celebration of cancer survivors.

And this year, we’re excited to share with you some of the dance moves featured in the video, choreographed by Stacy Ashley:

Vote for Lexington Medical Center’s Pink Glove Dance by going to www.pinkglovedance.com, searching on the “L-M” age for LMC and clicking “Vote” on our video.  You must have a Facebook account to vote.  Lexington Medical Center is the only Columbia area hospital entering the competition.  Voting for the Pink Glove Dance 2012 is from October 12th to November 2nd – there’s only one week left to go!

The winner will receive $10,000 to donate to a breast cancer charity of its choice.  Lexington Medical Center would donate its prize money to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, as it did last year.

To take one of Stacy’s classes, check out Gold’s Gym located at 619 North Lake Drive, Lexington, SC 29072.

Lexington Medical Center Leads Pink Glove Dance Voting

Lexington Medical Center is currently in first place in voting for the 2012 Pink Glove Dance competition.  As of Monday morning, October 22nd, Lexington Medical Center had 11,900 votes.  Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was in 2nd place with 7,096 votes.

While Lexington Medical Center maintains a lead of more than 4,800 votes, Penn State and other organizations are gaining momentum steadily and narrowing the gap.  We still have a long way to go in the Pink Glove Dance campaign and anything can happen.  Vote for Lexington Medical Center’s Pink Glove Dance by going to www.pinkglovedance.com, searching on the “L-M” age for LMC and clicking “Vote” on our video.  You must have a Facebook account to vote.

As you may know, the Pink Glove Dance website crashed last weekend during the first days of voting – because so many people were trying to log on and vote for their favorite video.  As a result, Medline has extended voting until Friday, November 2.

Our hospital’s 2012 Pink Glove Dance features the compelling story of Lexington Medical Center nurse Amy Kinard of Lexington, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 34.  The video is shot in our hospital and around our community – including at a highly-energized Williams-Brice Stadium, on a special pink glove skydiving adventure and inside a rock star celebration of cancer survivors.


In total, approximately 1,000 Lexington Medical Center employees dancing to the Katy Perry song “Part of Me” in the video.  In addition to high energy and Broadway style choreography, there are special effects, smoke, strobe lights and more.  Importantly, the dance features several LMC employees who are breast cancer survivors; they’re wearing t-shirts that say “Survivor from Day 1,” noting the strength and courage of breast cancer patients right from the time of their diagnosis.  “Survivor From Day 1” is the theme of this year’s video.

The winner will receive $10,000 to donate to a breast cancer charity of its choice.  Lexington Medical Center would donate its prize money to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, as it did last year.

Lexington Medical Center is the only Columbia area hospital entering the competition.  Voting for the Pink Glove Dance 2012 is from October 12th to November 2nd.  So, please vote today – and encourage your family and friends to vote too!

Shop and Support Breast Cancer Awareness

By: Staci Rutherford

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, there are many designers and retailers that are helping to educate the masses while giving back to causes devoted to awareness, education and research in the fight against breast cancer.  Show your support during the month of October by shopping pink!  Check out some of my fabulous finds that also make great gifts:

Essie Breast Cancer Color Collection

A portion of the proceeds from the essie breast cancer awareness collection will be donated to “Living Beyond Breast Cancer,” to empower all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life.  Price: $8.00 at Macy’s.

Giuliana Rancic for LOFT Statement Necklace

Fashionista and breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic designed this gorgeous rhinestone-studded necklace that represents women coming together.  Twenty-five percent of full-price purchases of the necklace will go directly to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.  Price: $69.50 at LOFT.

Coach BCA Multi Mix Key Ring

Coach’s limited edition jeweled key ring, a collection of luxuriously enameled signature charms suspended from a delicate silver-plated chain. During the month of October, Coach will donate 20% of this purchase to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Price: $58.00 at Coach.

Tory Burch Limited-Edition Pink Hardshell Phone Case

Tory Burch partnered with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® to create this exclusive hardshell iPhone 4/4S case, in a graphic pink needlepoint print. Price: $48.00 at ToryBurch.com.

BCRF iPad Sleeve – Canvas Pop-Up Pink

Designed to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts to find a cure, this cute, canvas iPad sleeve is inscribed with an inspiring message.  It’s made of cotton canvas/leather and fits iPad 2 models. $15 from sale of each iPad cover benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Price: $35.00 at Bloomingdales.com.

Awake “Live Love Hope” Tee

From October 1st through October 31st, 10% of the net sales from the Awake tee will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. Price: $24.00 at Macy’s.

Belk Breast Cancer Awareness collection

Belk has partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and has pledged a $3 million donation minimum over 3 years for the fight against breast cancer.  Visit your local Belk to shop the collection of apparel, accessories, home and beauty items.

For the second year in a row, Lexington Medical Center is entering the international Pink Glove Dance video contest sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc.  The project honors cancer survivors and raises awareness about breast cancer. To view and vote for Lexington Medical Center’s video, go to pinkglovedance.com.

Bald And Beautiful

October is here and it seems everywhere we look, there is something to remind us that it is breast cancer awareness month.   There are events, fundraisers, commercials and articles to get people thinking about their breast health.   I am a 2-year breast cancer survivor and I want to do all that I can to spread the word as knowledge is power!

One recent message really hit home with me and I wanted to share it with my Every Woman family.  If you haven’t heard already, country music star, Kellie Pickler, recently caused quite a buzz (literally). She shaved off all of her hair in support of her childhood friend, Summer Miller, who is currently battling breast cancer.  Summer received the devastating news in June 2012 and Kellie wanted to show her support.  Take a minute to watch the video and make sure you have a few tissues.

Wasn’t that amazing?! Watching them shave their heads reminded me of the time when I shaved my hair off.  I felt the same way and while watching their moment, I remembered mine like it was just yesterday.   When I first touched my head, I could feel that it was gone and then looked into the trash can to see my hair.  At first, I wanted to cry out and ask God to give me my hair back.   But instead, he gave me strength, which I really needed over those next few months I would need it!   Watching their story reminded me of my breast friend, Brandy, and how her friendship helped to lift my spirit on many days that I just didn’t want to fight anymore.

Katie with her best friend, Brandy

Life is a series of hurdles and as we get over each one, we become stronger, more ready to face the next challenge.    Our hair would just get in the way of our cancer battle so by shaving it off, we stand tall, ready to fight.

To all my pink sisters – I wish you good health, happiness and many, many birthdays!!

Do you know someone fighting breast cancer right now?  Post their story here so that we can lift them up, pray for them,and post a message to let them know that they are not alone. 🙂

For the second year in a row, Lexington Medical Center is entering the international Pink Glove Dance video contest sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc.  The project honors cancer survivors and raises awareness about breast cancer. To view and vote for Lexington Medical Center’s video, go to pinkglovedance.com. 

Lights, Camera, Dance! Pink Glove Dance Voting Begins!

Today is an important day!  Voting in the 2012 Pink Glove Dance competition begins today at 1:00 p.m. EST.  The hospital is asking everyone in our community to vote for our Pink Glove Dance by going to www.pinkglovedance.com and “Liking” our dance with a Facebook account.  A vote for our video is a show of support for cancer survivors everywhere.

For the second year in a row, Lexington Medical Center is entering the international Pink Glove Dance video contest sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc.  The project honors cancer survivors and raises awareness about breast cancer.

Our hospital’s 2012 Pink Glove Dance features the compelling story of Lexington Medical Center nurse Amy Kinard of Lexington, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 34.  The video is shot in our hospital and around our community – including at a highly-energized Williams-Brice Stadium, on a special pink glove skydiving adventure and inside a rock star celebration of cancer survivors.

In total, approximately 1,000 Lexington Medical Center employees dancing to the Katy Perry song “Part of Me” in the video.  In addition to high energy and Broadway style choreography, there are special effects, smoke, strobe lights and more.  Importantly, the dance features several LMC employees who are breast cancer survivors; they’re wearing t-shirts that say “Survivor from Day 1,” noting the strength and courage of breast cancer patients right from the time of their diagnosis.  “Survivor From Day 1” is the theme of this year’s video.

Pictured above are the breast cancer survivors who appear in this year’s video.

In 2011, with more than 60,000 votes and 110,000 You Tube views, Lexington Medical Center clinched the first-ever Pink Glove Dance contest.  The hospital beat more than 130 other health care organizations from around the United States and Canada with a dance featuring hundreds of Lexington Medical Center employees dancing with pink gloves.  The dance became so popular, it was featured on national television including ABC World News Tonight and Fox & Friends on the FOX News Network.

You can vote for Lexington Medical Center’s Pink Glove Dance by going to www.pinkglovedance.com and clicking “Like” with your Facebook account.  You must have a Facebook account to vote.   This year, voting for the Pink Glove Dance 2012 is from October 12th to October 26th.   Please encourage your family and friends to vote for Lexington Medical Center’s Pink Glove Dance video!

Pink Glove Dance

By: Crissie Miller Kirby

Over the last year I have been so blessed in having been chosen as one of the Every Woman bloggers. I have had the chance to pursue my lifelong dream of writing and have met some wonderful people and gained much self-confidence through this endeavor.  However, few things can match being asked to participate in the Lexington Medical Center’s video for the 2nd annual Pink Glove Dance competition.

As soon as the email came inviting the bloggers, I knew I wanted to participate.  For those of you who may not know, the Pink Glove Dance is a competition sponsored by the medical supply company, Medline. The winners of this competition receive $10,000 to donate to a breast cancer research foundation of their choice.  And, if you missed last year’s big news, our own Lexington Medical Center was the inaugural competition’s winner, securing $10,000 for the Vera Bradley Foundation!

Breast cancer is a devastating and debilitating disease.  It knows no boundaries, striking young and old, black and white, men and women.  My mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before my oldest son was born in 2005 and almost seven years later, she is cancer free.  One of my dearest friends was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 at the relatively young age of 40 and almost three years later, she too, is cancer free.  In 2011, this same friend asked me to join her in participating in a Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer walk in Florida.  What an honor and awesome experience it was for me to walk beside her and watch her cross the finish line after all she had been through.  Being able to participate in the Pink Glove Dance was another way for me to honor these two ladies in my life, and all those who have battled breast cancer.

Fast forward to the day of the taping of the finale sequence of the video. When I arrived at the hospital locale for the shoot, I stood back in awe of the number of people in attendance.  Young, old, male, female; just as breast cancer knows no boundaries, those wanting to stand up in the fight against it knew no boundaries either.  There were doctors and nurses, hospital staff, and even a hospital chaplain who had to have been approaching 70 (he impressed me the most as he stayed and danced the entire 4 hours- in a clergy collar, no less).

As rehearsals began, I was reminded of just how terribly uncoordinated I was. But in the end, it made no difference because we were all learning the moves together, for a common cause.  As daylight turned into dusk and then darkness, the site was illuminated with energy (and some really big flood lights).  We pressed on, encouraged continually by the choreographer and director.  The atmosphere was absolutely phenomenal and unmatched by just about anything I have witnessed in my 34 years.

During one of the breaks, I remember telling Jennifer Wilson how neat it was to see the breast cancer survivors themselves, many of whom had been highlighted by name in last year’s video.  They truly were the stars of the night, and rightfully so.  Their untiring and unwavering spirit was evidence of what had helped them make it through their battles with this dreaded disease.  I think it helped to motivate all of us; I know it did me.

As the filming drew to a close, I looked around at all of the people present for this undertaking and reflected on what a wonderful and moving experience it had been for me, personally.  To be surrounded by so many people, all fighting for a common cause without regard to race, gender, or religion was truly inspiring.

Years ago, breast cancer was hard to detect and treat. But today (depending on stage of detection) some breast cancer survival rates near 100%.  Obviously, early detection and treatment are key in continuing to increase the survival rates. However, new and more effective treatments are continually needed and this is what the Pink Glove Dance represents; a chance to utilize funding to assist in research, development, and testing so that one day, breast cancer will be nothing more than a memory of days gone by.

In closing, obviously, we would LOVE to see a repeat win for Lexington Medical Center in the Pink Glove Dance Competition.  This year’s video is set to Katy Perry’s encouraging song “Part of Me,” and chronicles the breast cancer battle of one of Lexington Medical Center’s own nurses.  Voting will begin on Friday, October 12th.  Be on the lookout on Facebook for the video’s debut.  Make sure to “Like” it, share it, and help Lexington Medical Center secure another $10,000 donation to the Vera Bradley Foundation!

Good Luck LMC!  Job well done!