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Jeff Tully When Sonya Most was diagnosed with breast...

October 19, 2002

Jeff Tully

When Sonya Most was diagnosed with breast cancer more than a

decade ago, she thought it was the end of her life.

However, despite the pain, the fear and the stigma involved with

battling the disease, Most has come to the realization her successful

struggle to overcome cancer has signified a new beginning.

"When I first got the news that I had cancer, it was horrible,"

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said Most, 73, who has lived in Burbank for 27 years. "I really

thought I was going to die.

"But now, looking back, although I know this might sound kind of

strange but there is actually some good that has come out of me

getting cancer. It has made me live my life and helped me realize

that there is a lot more that I still want to do."

Despite having a full mastectomy shortly after her diagnosis in

Oct. 1991, Most is a 12-year survivor.

Since her recovery, the retired physical education teacher is

taking life by the horns, playing tennis, golfing and participating

in a healthy regiment of walking.

Sunday, Most will put her walking skills to good use at the

American Cancer Society's sixth annual Making Strides Against Breast

Cancer Walk Sunday at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. More than 15,000

walkers are expected to attend the five-kilometer walk that will

raise more than $800,000 for research, education and patient

services.

"It is just a great way to raise funds that are really needed for

breast cancer research," Most said. "We need as much help and money

as we can get."

The walk is being staged in conjunction with October being

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The American Cancer Society estimates more than 21,000 women in

California will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 4,275

will die from the disease. An estimated 203,000 women in America will

suffer from the disease this year.

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Taking part in the walk is one of the many endeavors Most has

taken part in for the American Cancer Society. In the past, she has

provided transportation for patients to get to and from their

doctors' appointments, and now she's involved in the ACS's Reach to

Recovery program, which provides information and support for recently

diagnosed breast-cancer patients and their families.

"I think it is important to have women who have just been

diagnosed with breast cancer, or who have just had surgery, to have

someone to talk to who has been through what they are going through,"

Most said. "It is something that really helped me get through it and

I want to provide the same for them."

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