PEORIA, Ill. — Komen Memorial, UnityPoint Health and University of Illinois-College of Medicine Department of Surgery hosted a local dinner/program, Wednesday at the Holiday Inn & Suites at Grand Prairie, for breast cancer survivors and co-survivors.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and these three entities invited a special guest to speak about survivorship.
Judy Kneece, president of EduCare and certified oncology nurse, returned to Peoria for the third consecutive year to speak on the subject. Kneece said she wants to let survivors know that removing stress and excessive responsibilities can lead to a healthier recovery.
“I’m telling them to take off their hero cape and take care of themselves,” Kneece said. “When they take care of themselves it will create a healing environment.”
Kneece has been dedicated to breast cancer navigation for over three decades. She’s also written several books with the purpose of educating breast cancer patients on the nature of the illness and guiding them through the recovery stage.
She said the two things survivors of breast cancer need to release from their lives are fear and stress. She says fear is paralyzing and it floods the body of negative chemicals and the stress of always taking on every task is taxing on the body.
“Learn to say “no,” Kneece said. “To say “no” is to protect your future and to give yourself the room for maximum recovery.”
Gayle Young, Susan G. Komen missions director, was also present during the event and said although this topic deals with recovery, she also wants women to take proactive measures to make sure they’re always aware of their health status.
“There really is an importance to being sure that you are getting your screenings,” said Gale. “Know what’s normal for your body. If something doesn’t seem right, get in and get is checked out.”