The new American Cancer Society (ACS) Community Coordinator for Clay County is excited to get the message out there about breast cancer awareness and the 2010 Clay County ACS Relay For Life.
Brazil resident Rachel Romas, 24, recently talked with The Brazil Times about her new job.
"I'm so excited," Romas said. "Working with ACS is such a wonderful opportunity, and then -- to be able to do what you love in your home town -- is just incredible. I'm looking forward to working on our local Relay effort in the spring, but right now I want to educate our community about all of the other services offered by ACS."
Living in the Brazil area with her puppy, Luna, and working on her Master's Degree, Romas is happy to be helping raise awareness in the community that supported her family during a tough time.
Diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor -- a rare type of childhood cancer -- when she was 4-years-old, Romas understands the stigma of having cancer and the sense of guilt many cancer survivors feel.
"When I was a teenager, there was secretiveness to my cancer. I felt that guilt myself," Romas said, believing her own fight with cancer will give her credibility when discussing ACS with others. "I went to my first Relay event in 2003 and walked my first Survivor Lap. It was very emotional, almost overwhelming, all the emotional support from everyone I received at the event. There was such a sense of community and family."
In 2008, while finishing college courses at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Romas said she talked her grandmother, a cancer survivor and participant in the ACS Wig Program, into attending her first Relay event.
"It was very emotional for us both as we walked the Survivor Lap together," Romas said. "I want to help other people dealing with cancer on any level to find that support."
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness, Romas urges women to contact their physicians about scheduling an appointment for a breast exam.
"We can work together to be proactive against cancer," Romas said. "There are new ways to fight back and survive a cancer diagnosis. We can work together to lift the stigma associated with cancer. I'm really looking forward thinking creatively about ways to get the message out there to our local community and help others fight back against this terrible disease."
Upcoming Relay events
The following is a list of upcoming events pertaining to the 2010 Clay County American Cancer Society Relay For Life, scheduled for May 22-23, 2010, at the Clay County YMCA:
* Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009: 5:30-7 p.m., Fall Appreciation Open House at the American Cancer Society Office, 705 Putnam St., Terre Haute
* Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009: 5:30-6:45 p.m., Committee Meeting at Riddell National Bank, Brazil
* Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010: 5:30-6:45 p.m., Committee Meeting at Riddell National Bank, Brazil, and
* Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010: 5:30-6:45 p.m., Committee Meeting at Riddell National Bank, Brazil, with the Relay For Life Kickoff Event afterwards.
For more information about or to register to participate in the 2010 Clay County American Cancer Society Relay For Life, contact Event Chair Janice Piatt (812-442-9785) or Event Vice Chair Carrol Evans (812-442-0505) or log on http://www.relayforlife.org/claycountyin.