The Times West Virginian

March 19, 2013

Positive outlook, support help cancer survivors

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Being positive goes a long way.

Just ask four local breast cancer survivors who credit positivity and support with helping them face a challenging experience.

The four women — who all work at the Marion County Courthouse — found out they had one thing in common: Each was diagnosed with breast cancer within a year.

In July 2011, Marion County Circuit Court worker Sheila Favaloro found out she had breast cancer. Mary Frances Brake, who works in the Assessor’s Office, found out she had breast cancer in December 2011. Kim Shay, who also works in the Circuit Court, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2012. A few days after Shay was diagnosed, Kim Hawkins, who works in the Prosecutor’s Office, found out she also had breast cancer.

Through support and positivity, all four of them have and are still working through the challenges they’ve seen. Now the four of them, along with several other individuals, are on a Relay for Life team with the name of “Positivity.”

Captain Cara Cervo knew the word “positivity” was the perfect name for their team of 21.

“For some reason it clicked with me,” she said.

Cervo said even though she doesn’t have cancer, she has close friends and relatives who have been diagnosed with the disease. She said being a support system for them is important.

“It’s one of the most emotional things I’ve ever had to go through,” Cervo said. “I’ve had so many people that are a part of my life go through this, and trying to be strong for them is one of the most difficult tasks I’ve had to do.”

Cervo wants to be that support system and be positive during tough times for her friends, co-workers and family.


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