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Get Pink: Metro cancer survivor fights to bring hope to others

(Courtesy Stephanie Jarrell)

Stephanie Jarrell started getting regular mammograms in her early 40s. So when the doctors spotted something abnormal in her scan in 2013, they could easily pull up her previous results to compare.

“I had been very faithful to do my annual mammograms, so I was kind of shocked because you always get the all clear,” Jarrell said. “Then when they ask you to stay, it has a way of kind of taking your breath away.”

Jarrell was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her doctors recommended surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation.

“We had an incredible support team around us – my employers, my coworkers, our friends, people from church, our family,” Jarrell said.

After a year of treatment, the doctors told Jarrell she was cancer-free.

“I was very grateful that God had given me that gift,” Jarrell said. “I didn’t want to be selfish with it, because I had to keep in mind not everybody gets that kind of news.”

So Jarrell focused on moving forward and finding ways to give back.

“I live in how can you help somebody else going through it,” Jarrell said. “I hope I never get so far away from it that I can’t remember what it was like. I want to always be able to recognize a bad day for someone else, but I can’t live there. That’s not what’s going on now. There’s a little one to run after.”

When she’s not chasing her grandchildren, she’s helping those who are fighting cancer.

“We live in a day and age where everyone is affected by cancer,” Jarrell said. “You don’t have to go very far.”

Jarrell passes out small pairs of boxing gloves to cancer patients, caregivers, and anyone going through a tough time.

“I love that people have gotten some encouragement from them, because that’s all I have to give,” Jarrell explained.

She says she can’t take away people’s problems, but she can cheer them on. The note she attaches to the boxing gloves reads, in part: “Throw that next punch with determination and confidence. Fight with all you’ve got. Whatever your role on any given day, whether in the ring or in the corner waiting to help, I hope these boxing gloves remind you of the fight we all end up being a part of at some point in life.”

If you or something you know would benefit from a pair of boxing gloves, Jarrell says she’d love to hear from you. She also has a list of tips for anyone going through cancer treatment. You can reach her at StillStanding2017@cox.net.

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