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Breast cancer awareness group thanks volunteers

November 10, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley celebrated its sponsors and volunteers with an appreciation reception Thursday night.

About half of the volunteers are breast cancer survivors, said Joan Fell, executive director of Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley.

Volunteers work with the organization's early detection program and three different support groups. Volunteer "angels" are paired with women undergoing cancer treatment to send small gifts and notes of support, Fell said.

Nancy Younker, who was diagnosed with breast cancer 15 years ago, has been working with Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley for 13 years. She makes heart-shaped pillows that are given to women who recently have been diagnosed with the disease.

"It's a comfort to the patients," said Andrea Rung, a survivor who has worked with the organization for seven years.

"After receiving help, I wanted to give back to other ladies," Rung said. "It's really good to know other people had survived."

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"The patient doesn't feel like they're all alone," said her husband, Walter Rung.

Board members recognized local businesses that supported the organization in the past year.

President Toni Sollenberger enthusiastically thanked Will Smith and the Hagerstown Suns Pitch 'n Pink on Mother's Day this year.

This year's biggest fundraisers were the October Step 'n Stride and the purse auction. Fundraising was so successful that the organization is looking into new programming, board members said.

Andrea Rung said her involvement with Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley helped her find a positive side to her ordeal.

"At one time, I would never have believed there was a positive side to it," she said.

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