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5 Questions: Councilwoman fights cancer, for herself and others

By: Jency James
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The C-word has become a major plague of society. Cancer. But breast cancer survivor Carol Garcia of Roseville decided to make a difference toward another C-word: cure.

With the help of fellow survivor Teri Munger of Granite Bay, Roseville City Councilwoman Garcia founded the Placer County Breast Cancer Endowment, an organization whose goal is to raise $1.5 million to donate to the UC Davis Medical Center toward finding a cure for cancer. In the past five years, they’ve made $650,000 to donate toward the cause.

The organization hosts several events to raise funds, including the annual Pink and White Ball, which honors individuals for their cure-seeking efforts with the “Hope for a Cure” Award.

Former Kings player Bobby Jackson will be this year’s honoree recipient for his efforts in organizing numerous events for the sake of finding a cure. 

Garcia battled breast cancer 12 years ago and had a bilateral-mastectomy where she had her lymp nodes and both breasts removed.

“I thought it was the best treatment for reconstructive purposes and peace of mind,” Garcia said.

1. What were some of the initial thoughts you had when you were diagnosed?

At the time, I was only 39 so I was just shocked that my body could even have a cancer. You always hear about it happening to other people, but you never think it could happen to you. But as I went through the surgeries, I didn’t want to complain and say why me; I wanted to help people going through the experience.

2. How has breast cancer changed you?

I tried to slow down in life without taking on too much. But by being involved in this organization, you end up being busy but it’s a good busy.

You need to reprioritize what’s important and appreciate every day you have.

3. What was the emotional process of having breast cancer?

I had two daughters - one in eighth grade and one in junior high - so I wanted to live to see them grow up and to be able to hold my grandchildren and to be there for them and my husband.

4. What’s your favorite part about the organization?

It’s the people you meet and the relationships you build along the way through raising funds, which is equally important for finding a cure.

It’s also amazing to see the support we get, whether it’s volunteerism, individual support or corporate support. To have people rally around our cause is great.

5. What are three important things women should know about breast cancer?

Early detection is the most important form of treatment. Do self exams on a regular basis.

Seek medical attention right away because some of those cancers can develop quickly. When seeking medical advice, get a second opinion.

Remember that there are numerous resources and support and that you’re not alone.

Jency James can be reached at intern@goldcountrymedia.com.

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WHAT: The Pink and White Ball
WHEN: 6 p.m. Oct. 22
WHERE: Thunder Valley Casino, 1200 Athens Ave. in Lincoln.
COST: $100 per person