Randolph County Nursing Home enters nationwide competition to he - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Randolph County Nursing Home enters nationwide competition to help breast cancer survivors

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - One Region 8 nursing home hopes they can win $10,000 so they can give it away. They've entered a nationwide dance competition to raise awareness for breast cancer and hope that Region 8 residents can help them help a group of local survivors.

"When they found out how extensive it was, they told me I had a choice, they could either take my breast or I would have to go through chemotherapy," Merlene Brown told Region 8 News. "I told them to take the breast."

Brown is a 13 year survivor of breast cancer.

"It's easy for me to remember because that's the weekend that 9/11 happened," Brown said.

Thirteen years later, she still knows how difficult it is for others battling breast cancer and so does the Randolph County Nursing Home where Brown stays.

"We have a big family support group," Paula Swift, nursing home administrator said.

However, the nursing home recently decided to expand that support group outside the walls of the nursing home and the Pocahontas community by entering the nationwide Pink Glove Dance Competition.

They're rallying for votes but not for themselves. Randolph Home created the video for the NEA Breast Cancer Survivors Group.

"They're just an extraordinary group of ladies, they're all breast cancer survivors," Anna Johnston said.

The NEA Breast Cancer Survivor Group is made up of 25 women who have battled and beaten breast cancer.

Randolph Home hopes they win this battle too so they can continue to help others.

"They pride themselves in making special pillows, writing letters, holding support groups and meetings and they send roses to all the breast cancer patients in the hospital," Johnston, the nursing home's activities director, said.

Though the nursing home had to raise an initial $2,000 for the group to enter the competition, they're hoping they can bring in a lot more for the group.

"If our video wins, then an extra $10,000 will go to the breast cancer awareness of NEA," Jennifer Kaczmarski explained.

As of Thursday night, Randolph Home's video had just over 300 votes. Voting ends in 10 days on September 23 and a winner will be announced on October 2. 

To view Randolph County Nursing Home's video, click here.

We spoke with the president of the NEA Breast Cancer Survivor's Group by phone Thursday afternoon. She was thrilled the nursing home was trying to raise money for them, as they generally only have one big fundraiser a year in mid-October. The group supports women and their families battling breast cancer by taking them to chemotherapy, helping with needs the family might have or just being there to talk to.

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