WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY -- Dawn DeMorrow and Stanley Parulski never imagined being an inspiration to others. But their stories of breast cancer survival are now part of the Blue Cross "Gallery of Hope."
"I have a twin sister who was already a breast cancer survivor and an aunt who was, too, so I can't say it actually shocked me," said DeMorrow, of White Haven, when recalling her diagnosis in 2002.
She had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation to cure her of stage 3 breast cancer. But in 2008, doctors told Dawn she was in the early stages of breast cancer.
"Two was a little bit emotionally harder to handle than one," said DeMorrow. "It was even worse when they told me my chance of getting it a third time was 60%."
Dawn had a bilateral mastectomy to stave it off and is two years cancer-free.
Then there's Stanley Parulski of Hanover Township.
"It looked like something the size of a golf ball, and it just started to grow," recalls Parulski of a tumor he felt in 1987. "I had a lump in my left breast, and the doctor sent me to a specialist."
Parulski had the cancerous lump removed and had 9 months of chemotherapy. Just this past April, he found a tumor in his other breast, but this time, it was benign.
Both breast cancer survivors want people to get out to see the Blue Cross "Gallery of Hope." The display travels throughout 13 counties in our region. It was most recently in Wilkes-Barre's City Hall. It will be at the Hazleton Area Career Center starting Tuesday November 2nd for two weeks. Then, it'll be at Candy's Place in Forty Fort.
DeMorrow and Parulski have simple advice for those who are watching, including anyone who's cancer-free, and those who are battling the disease.
"If you feel a lump, get to the doctor," said Parulski.
"Reach out," said DeMorrow. "There's a lot of good support groups out there."
If you'd like to nominate someone for the Blue Cross "Gallery of Hope," you can call 1-888-245-3104 or go to www.bcnepa.com/hope.