Former Resident Establishes Breast Cancer Support Group
Currently battling metastatic breast cancer, a former Mc- Connellsburg woman has formed a support group to help others face their fears and struggles as well as to offer the strength and support so often found in numbers.
The “BC Mets” support group organized by Deb Mumma and Laura Umbrell kicked off its very first meeting on Monday, May 17, at the public resource library of Rhonda Brake Shreiner Women’s Center, 757 Norland Avenue, in Chambersburg.
Mumma, the daughter of Mc- Connellsburg residents Wynn and Inez Eddy, reported having three women in attendance and since that time has received e-mails from other individuals interested in taking part in the meetings held the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m.
The group’s goals are to provide support and balance to participants while maintaining a high quality of life, empowering one another by sharing wisdom and connecting through similar situations. Mumma stated Umbrell, a breast health educator, has proven herself not only to be a “huge help” with BC Mets but also in Mumma’s daily life since a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer was made on May 1, 2009. Metastatic breast cancer, also known as stage four breast cancer, occurs when the disease has spread outward, most commonly to the bones, liver, lungs and brain.
Breast cancer statistics show more than 192,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women were diagnosed in the country last year in addition to almost 2,000 new cases in men. Around 40,000 women died in 2000 as a result of the disease, although death rates have reportedly been on the decrease since 1990 due to screenings, advances in treatment options and increased awareness.
Always an advocate for annual mammograms beginning at age 40 and self breast exams, Mumma, a 46-year-old critical care nurse at Chambersburg Hospital, stated while performing a self examination she was able to locate the “very, very small lump” in her breast. Currently in remission, Mumma pointed out she will never hear the words, “I’m cured.”
“There is no cure. I’m in treatment now, and I’ll be in some form of treatment or another for the remainder of my life,” said Mumma.
In addition to receiving help from Umbrell, Mumma’s family consisting of husband Ron, two daughters, one stepdaughter, one stepson and six grandsons have also rallied to give her unconditional love and support during the course of the last year. Mumma hopes BC Mets will give her the opportunity to share the same type of support.
“There are mothers, sisters and daughters living with this in our community right now,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, in support of and in honor of Mumma, her coworkers have rallied to organize a Longaberger basket bingo benefit event for June 13 at the Franklin Fire Co. located at 158 West King Street, Chambersburg. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance (CVBCA) and the Pennsylvania Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (PMBCN).
CVBCA, a faith-based ministry, is headquartered in Chambersburg and provides education and information on breast cancer and preventative healthcare. It also offers a variety of supportive services ranging from free mammograms for uninsured women and care packages for newly diagnosed patients to group seminars. PMBCN’s purpose is to raise awareness and “give those living with the disease a greater voice and visibility in the breast cancer community.”
The basket bingo will include 20 regular games as well as five special games, fish bowls, games of chance, raffles and a concession stand. A special $10 raffle will offer two framed and remarked Mark Twain Noe prints, a turkey call from Butch Seiders and a breast cancer bracelet.
Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance, and $25 at the door. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m., and the event will get under way at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are available locally at Eddy’s Engraving & Gifts in McConnellsburg or by calling 717-729-1451, 717-816-7940 or 717- 267-7992.
Additional information regarding the BC Mets support group can be obtained by contacting Deb Mumma at 717-816-9793 or Laura Umbrell at 717-217-6747.