3 Chapel Hill women use their fight against cancer to help those in same battle


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – More than twenty years ago in Chapel Hill, three women who were battling breast cancer decided to spend some of their time while fighting the disease creating a foundation that could help everyone battle the disease.

Today, the Chapel Hill Breast Cancer Foundation has raised nearly $1 million.

While the fundraising started out as a tennis tournament when the foundation started back in 1997, it’s a yearly golf tournament that now raises most of their money.

This money goes to local research hospitals for early research seed money.

Hospitals at Duke, UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forecast get 100 percent of the money raised split evenly.

These are also the three hospitals where the original three founders were treated for their cancer.

Ann Petersen, Debbie Howard and Karen Elliott were all fellow tennis players that just happened to get breast cancer about the same time.

Sadly, Karen lost her battle with cancer, but Ann and Debbie continue the fight along with many volunteers, ensuring all the money raised gets donated for cutting edge breast cancer research.

Breast cancer still claims the lives of more than one hundred women every day in the United States along, according the CHBCF. New research to find a cure for breast cancer is still badly needed.

It’s that kind of cutting edge research that Julie Kelly wanted to help support three years ago by sponsoring the yearly golf tournament. Good fortune in her business gave her the means to help support a local charity.

She found the CHBCF through a friend, but now is seeing the kind of great research they are funding because her sister was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Kelly recently updated chief meteorologist Wes Hohenstein that her sister “had a double mastectomy, she’s had reconstruction and she just finished her third chemo treatment last week.”

While going through her cancer treatment, Amanda, Kelly’s sister didn’t want to lose her hair. Many women say that losing your hair during cancer is harder than you can imagine. Thanks to a new treatment called cold capping, that has happened yet.

Cold capping cools the hair follicle us a cap of dry ice placed directly on the head. When the follicle is that cold, it can’t process the chemo and therefore doesn’t die and fall out. It’s this type of new treatment and ground breaking research that the Chapel Hill Breast Cancer Foundation wants to continue to fund in the future.

If you would like to join the fight against breast cancer with the Chapel Hill Breast Cancer Foundation, please visit their website where you can learn about their annual golf tournament Tee It Up! for a cure.

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