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North Texas Program Helping Cancer Patients Cope For 35 Years

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. CBS 11 News took a closer look at a North Texas program that has been helping people cope with the challenging diagnosis for 35 years.

The American Cancer Society’s ‘Reach to Recovery Program’ is free and helping more people now that ever before.

When Glynda Tabraham was first diagnosed with breast cancer, she said visits from her Reach to Recovery volunteer meant the world to her. ‘I thought it was such a caring thing to do,” she said.

Four years later Glynda is cancer free and is now bringing that same hope and sunshine to cancer patients, as a volunteer with Reach to Recovery. Today that someone is Jennifer Arzola, a 36-year-old mother of four. Doctors caught her breast cancer in Stage 1.

“My first thought was how will my children and husband feel,” Jennifer recalled. “I know I can handle it. I can’t control their feelings… that really bothered me the most.”

Jennifer just had a bilateral mastectomy and to help better understand what happens next she turned to Reach to Recovery. “I was just trying to figure out, where this came from?”

Doctor Rachel Zent is a breast care specialist and surgeon with Texas Oncology and Baylor University Medical Center and believes the recovery program is greatly needed — especially as her patients needs have changed.

“With the economy turning, I’m again seeing more breast cancer patients at later stages ‘cause women are putting off regular screening mammograms… sometimes for financial reasons,” she said.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the power that information provides. Glynda says couple that with the TLC offered from programs like Reach to Recovery and mental, emotional and physical success is happening for those who need it most.

“There is life after this,” she said.

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