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      Local women fight back against breast cancer

      Women attend a Breast Cancer Advocacy Workshop to learn how they can join in the fight against the growing epidemic

      The Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund partnered with the Morehouse School of Medicine and Samaritan Clinic to teach the public how to get involved in the fight against breast cancer.

      "We are teaching people about the status of breast cancer today in hopes that they will each be encouraged to take on this issue and become true advocates," said Samaritan Clinic TMs Executive Director Nedra Fortson.

      Women met at the Mount Zion Baptist Church to learn how they can make a difference, which organizers say is possible.

      "People need to understand that they have a voice that can make an impact for breast cancer patients, both current and future. There are 8,907 women predicted to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone in our state," said AGeorgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund Executive Director Amy Upchurch.

      Breast cancer has been called an epidemic and thousands have already made an effort to raise awareness about the issue with walks and nation-wide events. While sporting pink and wearing pins raises awareness, some say that's not enough.

      "If we just have hope and all of the pretty pink ribbon and pink shirts and all of the balloons and events like that, awareness is simply not enough. We need to work together, said Upchurch.

      Breast cancer survivors were also present to learn how they too can get involved and say it really can happen to anyone - and it's a moment you'll never forget.

      "I did go to the doctor and he told me he would call with my results. Well, his assistant did and I said everything's alright, right? and she was like no and it was like I was in a vacuum. It was as if the floor opened up," said Janice Route-Blaylock, a survivor who was diagnosed in 2007.

      Route-Blaylock wants to make sure women who are uninsured receive the same treatment as those with insurance and says she also wants those with cancer to know that they can fight back.

      "It is very important to know that there is hope and that's it not the death sentence it once was, it really is not."