Director of Public Works talks reproductive cancer - WNCN: News, Weather

Director of Public Works talks reproductive cancer

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

A Columbus public official is raising awareness about "below the belt" cancer. Pat Biegler, Director of Public Works, says it's rarely talked about but after battling it herself she says women need to be informed. News 3's Naomi Keitt sat down with Biegler Sunday afternoon.

"The first thing is, Oh My God, am I going to die," said Pat Biegler.

The call came as a complete shock. Doctors phoned the Director of Public Works the day before she was moving across country to a brand new city.

"I didn't know a soul. I knew very little about the city and was starting a new job. I didn't know how sick I was going to be. The amount of uncertainty was incredible harsh," said Biegler.

The message was heartbreak, "You have cancer."

"The c word is--it's a dirty word. It's not something that easy to grasp," said Biegler.

She was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. It's considered the most common form of reproductive cancer and nearly 50,000 women a year get the diagnosis. Biegler was considered stage 1. Doctors told her ti wasn't too bad and she probably wouldn't need chemotherapy or radiation. Then she got a hysterectomy and got some more unwelcome news.

"They did a biopsy on everything they removed and they found a really aggressive cancer in my fallopian tubes," said Biegler.

After that diagnosis, she did chemotherapy and radiation for about a year. She says her staff was incredibly supportive.

"They took care of everything for me. Phenomenal group of people. Wonderful," said Biegler.

Biegler says after treatment she is now considered cancer fee but wants to raise awareness for "below the belt" cancers. She urges women to get regular check ups in order to catch any problems early. She's also a part of a new support group called "Teal Talkers."

"To have people reach out and help you really makes a huge amount of difference in your ability to keep moving forward to get through what you have to get through," said Biegler.

"Teal Talkers" will have their inaugural fundraising event on September 28th at the Butler Pavilion at St. Francis. It will take place from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event will include a fashion show, silent auction, and butterfly release. If you are interested in learning more about this event or about the group you can call Pat Biegler at 706-329-7753.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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