New London breast cancer survivor is dedicated to helping others
New London — To Anita Miller, the best way to mark October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to do what she can to motivate other women to get mammograms.
"Breast cancer is very curable if you catch it early," said Miller, who co-owns Goldy's Restaurant with her daughter, Rachel Barclay. "I just want to encourage more women to get mammograms."
After Miller, 57, was diagnosed with breast cancer 14 years ago, she had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, followed by 10 years of medications to prevent recurrence. Last year, Barclay, after a genetic test determined she carried the BRCA breast cancer susceptibility gene, had a preventive double mastectomy. Miller said her daughter has done well since her surgery and in August opened The Old Roadhouse bar and restaurant on Bank Street.
Now Miller, after talking to her oncologist and having her own tests, has decided to follow in her daughter's footsteps. The surgery is scheduled for next month.
"I just came to a decision," Miller said Wednesday. "The anxiety level is too high and the odds are against me. I just decided to do it."
Miller's experience with breast cancer has prompted her to tell her story publicly so other women overcome their reluctance about getting mammograms, and to try to help make the way easier for other women. Today, the Colman Street restaurant will host a breast cancer fundraiser, with proceeds going to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital's early detection program that helps pay for mammograms for women without insurance.
The event will include displays by more than a dozen vendors, plus raffles, prizes donated by local businesses and an information table staffed by L+M. It is the third year the restaurant has hosted a breast cancer fundraiser in October, Miller said.
"We've raised over $3,000 in the previous two fundraisers," she said.
GOLDY'S ANNUAL BREAST CANCER FUNDRAISER
When: 5 to 8 p.m. today
Where: Goldy's Restaurant, 566 Colman St., New London
What: Displays by vendors offering jewelry, jams, chair massages, medium readings, cosmetics, cookware, shoes and other items. There will also be door prizes, raffles and refreshments
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