Photo detail

Women in the Reaching Out Breast Cancer Support Group include (from left to right): Dotty Sutter, Jean Colette, Ilone Swenson, Barbara Cox, Barb Bennett, Phyllis Renning, Aggie Hanson, Fern Spears and Tex Ann Kraft. Kraft is a representative of a company that offers modified bras for women with single or double mastectomies.

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Tease photo

Women helping women survive breast cancer

Group meets second Thursday of each month

Walking into a breast cancer support group with my camera bag over the shoulder, I felt like a pair of combat boots among ballet slippers, little realizing I was about to get a lesson in living. Ilona Swenson had talked me into covering the session, hoping an article would help get the word out that this group of cancer survivors was eager to help women cope with a life-threatening trauma that affects about one in eight women — which works out to maybe 1,200 residents of Rim Country. I had braced myself for the story, expecting to emerge frightened and depressed.


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