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Untitled drawingHi! My name is Imelda Margulies and I am a Nurse Practitioner and Coordinator-Cancer Risk Counselor at the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center.

For me, every day when I wake up is a good day.  When my eyes open, I arise and I thank my Lord for the blessing of a beautiful and loving husband and the blessing of four healthy, intelligent, creative children.

I also say thanks for our good health and the blessing that we can work together as a couple providing healing and compassionate care to all our patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 57, I remember feeling shocked and naturally didn’t understand how this could have happened. She only had a grandmother in her 70’s with breast cancer. My mother fought the good fight but five years later, the breast cancer had spread to her bones.

My mother, mother of 4 children, eldest sister of 11 siblings, wife of 36 years, and RN for 42 years, died at age 63 from breast cancer.

I knew then I wanted to spend my life teaching others how to reduce their breast cancer risk and how to celebrate more birthdays with their moms, sisters, daughters, and loved ones.

Ten years ago, my husband came home telling me his desire was to specialize and become a breast surgeon. It was then that I knew that my God had a plan for me and that my mother’s life and death had a higher meaning.

I trained to become a high risk genetics cancer counselor and it’s my passion to educate men and women regarding their risk for developing cancer. I teach them that having a mother or sister with breast cancer doubles their risk for developing breast cancer. If someone is at increased genetic risk, we test their genes in order to help guide their medical management.

And every day I help them is a living memorial to my mom, Grace Garcia.

The American Cancer Society has helped educate our public about cancer, cancer treatments and cancer risk reduction for decades. Their research in breast cancer has made significant strides to further finding a cure to end breast cancer.

In 2007, American Cancer Society research found that women with ≥20% lifetime breast cancer risk, women with a BRCA mutation, and untested women having a mother, sister, brother or father with a BRCA mutation require increased breast surveillance to include an annual breast MRI and annual mammogram to help find cancer when it’s really small and highly curable.

The American Cancer Society has helped millions of women find beauty in themselves again with the Look Good Feel Good program and find comfort in friendships made in the Reach to Recovery program.

So together let’s be “Conquerors” over Breast Cancer! Your efforts over the next two months are going to raise the funds needed to help these women and their families face their battle with breast cancer.

Your efforts are going to raise the funds to return a healthy body and soul to these women. Your efforts are going to help us celebrate more birthdays with moms, sisters, daughters, sons, and loved ones.

God bless all of you for giving hope and a future.