Photo caption: Always laughing and always fun, Debbie Kester gives out candy at the local trunk-or-treat every year for the Oakland Christian Church.
As you probably are aware, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and here in Pott. County, it isn’t just an excuse for athletes to wear pink, it’s a solid reminder to get those check-ups you’ve been avoiding.
Debbie Kester, of Oakland, is one of those advocating for you to make that appointment. Debbie is currently fighting breast cancer. She will be spending her month of October taking radiation treatments after undergoing surgery this past summer.
Her story, luckily, is one of hope and happiness!
If you don’t know Debbie, she is one of the unsung heroes of Oakland and the Riverside area. She spent over 30 years in the Oakland/Riverside School District serving meals to kids, volunteering endlessly at the Oakland Christian Church, and is currently running the senior center in Oakland.
Debbie has never met a stranger! She is chatty, outgoing, friendly, great with kids (especially the really naughty ones), a hard worker, and is always positive, even in the face of cancer.
With all the research and development, Debbie tells me she has a 97% survival rate. She also told me that she considers herself one of the blessed ones because her cancer was caught at Stage 1. Truth be told, she told me it was a complete act of God.
Just like all of us, Debbie forgets to take the time to take care of herself and hadn’t had a recent mammogram. In fact, she says she’s sure they wouldn’t have caught it at all if it wasn’t for a series of fortunate events.
Debbie was planning to have knee surgery. She’d never had surgery but went in for her pre-op physical with Janice at CHI in Oakland. Janice mentioned the mammogram and said that Medicare would want her to have one. Debbie wasn’t really interested, but Janice persisted saying she was retiring and they should just get it done. Debbie caved and had it done. Within a matter of a week, she knew it was cancer and they were setting up her surgery. If that wasn’t shocking enough, Debbie’s surgeon told her that whoever read her mammogram results at Mercy must have been one impressive and thorough person to have even caught it because of the minuscule size.
As she begins her treatments, she continues to remain positive. The doctor told her the radiation would make her tired, feel sunburned, and cause her to lose more tissue. Debbie’s excited response, “But I won’t have cancer!” That, my friends, is what makes her special.
In light of all of this, Debbie and Ralph have realized that taking a little more time to do the fun stuff is important. She also credits her extremely amazing support system and how the community has reached out, as well, and she says she will be reminding friends and family to make those appointments! Breast cancer awareness just gained a huge advocate!
So as you look at that endless to-do list, move that call up to the top. We all are better off for it…
And, thank you Debbie Kester, for being a ray of pink sunshine in our fall sky!
October is here and so are some fun times in Pott. County! Fall festivals, clean-up days, some tailgating, and 5Ks are all options!
Where can you be this weekend?
The Riverside Community will be celebrating their Homecoming this weekend. If you want to feel good about living in Pott. County, check out the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday at Riverside High School at 2:30pm. Proud moments to see what Pott. County people make happen! You can also hit the Great Western Bank Tailgate in Oakland from 4:30-6:30pm on Friday night before the game. Saturday, take the kids to “Touch a Truck” at Eckels Memorial Library to see fire trucks and police cars! Finish your day, by getting your karaoke on at Tailgators Bar in Oakland. Two amazing things will happen on Sunday. Macedonia Methodist Church will be serving lasagna and pie from 11:30am to 1pm. Did you hear me? PIE! Yum! Plus, the annual Jim Carrick Scholarship Run will be held on Sunday. The Run is put on by the late Jim Carrick’s wife and daughters and all the proceeds raised are given in the form of high school scholarships. So exercise and donate all in one!
And if exercise and fun are your jam, I have good news! UMBA Hall skating is back! Starting Friday night, you can roller skate at UMBA every Friday night through spring!
I’ve also got a Saturday for you that you won’t forget!
You can start your Saturday with a HawkWatch 5K at Hitchcock Nature Center at 7am. Just be sure to pre-register! And as you know Hitchcock is in Honey Creek so you’ll be ready to move onto Crescent for the rest of your day (in a more relaxed fashion)!
Crescent is having their 12th annual Fall Festival on Saturday from 11am to 3pm with a magic show, cornhole, basketball, kickball, pumpkin painting, and live music in the park, with lots of chatting, eating, and celebrating! Henry’s Diner will put out the hamburgers and hot dogs and Denny’s Place will have your beverages while Stanley’s Snack Shack will have gelato. The best part is that lunch is a free will donation and all proceeds go to the Crescent Food Pantry! What a great combo! And not a bad way to spend a Saturday!
Of course, it’s now officially October and we’re all thinking Halloween! So why not head over to Pumpkin Hill, a brand-new pumpkin patch in Neola! They have a bounce house, a corn pit, and a petting zoo! The reviews say it’s the new place to be in Pott. Co! #SupportLocal
However, if you live in Underwood, this is your weekend to get the junk out! Nope, it’s not Junkwood, it’s the annual Fall Clean-up Day! Check with City Hall for all the details.
Sunday, find your way to Prairie Crossing in Treynor for a little wine and live music by Brich and Killion from 1pm to 4.
Of course, it’s always a good weekend to take in a movie! Dreamland Theatre in Carson will be playing As Astra and The Phoenix in Neola has Peanut Butter Falcon.
It’s going to be a fun weekend whatever you choose!
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