By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Ten New Albany friends ran the Race for the Cure in Tupelo on Saturday morning in memory of their friend Shelly Trout, who lost her battle with breast cancer.
They were among about 3,800 runners and walkers who set off from Fairpark as part of the 15th annual Race for the Cure.
Trout lost her battle exactly one year before the race – Oct. 27, 2011.
“We had a good friend, a year ago today, passed away from breast cancer at the age of 36,” said Kristi Belli of New Albany. “We couldn’t think of anything more appropriate to do in her honor than this race.”
The group of 10 women included her mother, sister and some friends who had known her since kindergarten.
Trout was a teacher at East Union Attendance Center and was a wife and mother to two daughters who are now 3 and 5 years old.
“We want to find a cure to make sure that (her daughters) can have a healthy life,” said Trout’s sister, Nina Gillean.
Sally Wilkerson said losing their young friend to breast cancer has changed the way the group thinks about cancer.
“She’s the reason I got my mammogram last year,” she said. “They tell you that you don’t really have to until you’re 40 but we all got mammograms last year.”
Breast cancer survivor Lois Pegues Duff, 68, of Pontotoc, said having a yearly mammogram is how she found and beat her cancer. Duff shared her story and talked with other survivors at the Race for the Cure Survivor’s Tent in Fairpark.
“I went in for a mammogram – I get it every year,” Duff said. “Mine was so far back in my breast cavity walls that I couldn’t feel it with a self-test so the mammogram picked it up.”
Duff said she credits God’s hand and early detection for a speedy recovery.
Duff said every woman needs to perform breast exams and have a yearly mammogram.
“Early detection is what it’s all about,” she said.
The Race for the Cure is put on each year by the Susan G. Komen foundation, which raises money and awareness to support breast cancer research.