In July 2003, Kay Powell of Richmond, then 57, lost her job when her employer moved its manufacturing operation overseas.
Because of how she became unemployed, Powell was eligible for assistance with up to two years of schooling.
While she was exploring her career options, Powell was hit by an even greater challenge.
Her annual mammogram detected a lump in her breast.
That was on Oct. 4. Twelve days later, she was at Pattie A. Clay Hospital undergoing a lumpectomy.
“I was one of the luck ones,” said Powell, who moved to Richmond 26 years ago. “My cancer was detected early.”
The operation by Dr. Hamed Koury appeared to be successful, and she has been cancer-free for the past 10 years.
“I’m a strong believer in getting an annual mammogram,” she said, attributing her survival in large part to early detection.
With her surgery out of the way, Powell went back to thinking about what she would do for the rest of her life.
She decided Eastern Kentucky University’s child development program was the best fit for her, and both her husband and daughter encouraged her to enroll.
And after earning an associate’s degree, Powell went to work for the preschool program at Richmond’s First United Methodist Church.
She kept that job until her husband’s poor health led her to give it up to care for him.
While she was recovering from her surgery, Powell was visited by Arlayne Francis, co-founder of the Madison County Breast Cancer Support Group.
Members of the group visit breast cancer patients to deliver a “Recovery Basket” filled with items they will find useful after surgery.
The baskets typically are decorated with pink tissue and include items such as coffee mugs, candles, hand lotions, notebooks, coffee, tea, chewing gum, hard candies, devotional books and goodies from local beauty salons.
Powell appreciated the visit and the basket, but she didn’t get involved with the group until later.
While attending a Body Recall class, the exercise program for older adults, Powell noticed that she and another woman, Phyllis McDaniel, were wearing identical T-shirts promoting breast cancer awareness.
As they talked, McDaniel told Powell about her participation as an active member of the support group.
Recalling her initial experience with the organization, Powell decided to attend a meeting and has been active since.
Among the members are women who have been cancer-free for years longer than she, Powell said, and that helps give her hope of remaining free of cancer.
She also finds strength and satisfaction with the group to help others who are in the battle against breast cancer.
Powell was able to reassure a cancer patient who was anxious about taking a medication that she had taken. She shared her experience, telling the new patient about potential side effects and how to cope with them.
More recently, she worked a booth for the support group at a local fitness center to help raise money for a cancer patient to pay her medical bills.
On Nov. 2, she will be volunteering again, helping the group stage the annual Women’s Wellness Fun Day.
- Local News
Woman hospitalized at UK after vehicle hits tree
A woman was rushed Tuesday morning to the University of Kentucky Medical Center and her condition was unknown after her vehicle struck a tree on Tates Creek Road near Crutcher Pike.
Kentucky State Police spokesman Robert Purdy said the initial investigation of the wreck, which happened about 10 a.m., has turned up little information about the woman.
In Today's paper: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
Battlefield Golf Course to lease new equipment
Chemical weapons destruction plant 75 percent complete
Silver Creek Elementary presents: 'I Need a Little Christmas Vacation’
Woman hospitalized at UK after vehicle hits tree
Area Kentucky State Police troopers promoted
MCHS teacher’s group in ‘Sing-Off’ second round tonight
Richmond register holiday open house
Coal severance funds have gone lots of directions
Items reported stolen from vehicle on Oldham Avenue
Berea police arrest several on misdemeanor charges
Eastern Kentucky still key to governor’s race
EKU student groups spread holiday cheer at Hope’s Wings
Several excited children ran around the room as college students talked and played with them Friday afternoon at Hope’s Wings domestic violence shelter in Richmond.
Ashler Lodge party for children Saturday morning
Ashler Lodge, No. 49, will host a toy giveaway party for children ages 2 to 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Madison Central teacher’s ensemble makes it through first round of “The Sing-Off”
A cappella group the AcoUstiKats, whose members include a Madison Central High School teacher, made it past the first round of competition Tuesday night on NBC’s “The Sing-Off.”
Madison Central teacher to perform tonight on NBC’s “The Sing-Off”
The assistant director of the Madison Central High School choir will be performing on national television tonight.
Lexington man charged with robbery at Super Save grocery store
A Lexington man was charged with robbery Thursday after he attempted to take a $20 package of meat from a grocery store and then assaulted an employee, according to a Richmond Police Department report.
Richmond man uninjured in fatal Estill County collision
A Richmond man was involved in an accident Saturday afternoon in Estill County that resulted in the death of a woman.
Richmond gas stations robbed over the weekend
Two Richmond gas stations were robbed at gunpoint this weekend.
The first robbery occurred at 10:30 p.m. Friday at the D & G Citgo Food Mart, 1699 East Main St., according to the Richmond Police Department.
Berea police look for van involved in hit-and-run
Berea police officers are asking for the public’s help to find a van that was involved in a hit-and-run incident Friday that injured a pedestrian.
- More Local News Headlines
- Woman hospitalized at UK after vehicle hits tree