Cancer is becoming a seeming plague, and breast cancer especially so. No longer the disease of elderly women, it is now even striking teenagers. Lou Covington, of Lou C’s at 207 Coman St. in Athens, has spent the last several years tending to the multiple physical, spiritual, cosmetic and emotional needs of women who are in the middle of “gettin’ through it.” On October 9th, Lou C’s and Valley Imaging Center are hosting the 7th annual Party In Pink, which, rather than being a fundraiser, is a gathering to celebrate the victories of the extraordinary women who are either currently fighting cancer, or who have beaten it back. “We don’t sell tickets, and this isn’t about raising money,” she told me. “It’s about recognizing the strength of these women who have gone through treatment, and give them a day where they get pampered. Women who have breast cancer experience a feeling of a loss of femininity and confidence, but when they get together and share their journey, they always come to the place where the question they end up asking isn’t, ‘Why me?, but instead, it’s ‘Why her?’ It’s amazing,” said Lou. What I did not know is that the loss of a breast can actually affect your posture as well as the way you walk, and it’s very important to restore a sense of balance to your body. “A lot of women think they don’t need a breast form or a mastectomy bra,” Lou said. “That is the center of gravity for a woman’s body, and the new forms are lighter and cooler.” She went on to tell me the necessity of getting good nutrition as well as exercise in the battle against breast cancer. You also “need to respect your body, and get support,” she said, thus emphasizing the benefits of attending Party in Pink. What is also unique about Lou’s approach is that she considers Lou C’s to be a ministry, and her “shop” is not part of any national foundation. “I believe it serves the women of our area the best to keep everything local,” she said. Lou, as is the case with everyone involved with the health care system, is experiencing the frustration of ever growing bureaucracy, and the fact that several of her client’s costs are no longer covered by insurance. But she is a tough cookie, and clearly keeps going through the strength of her faith, as well as the knowledge that she is walking in her calling. Her “boot camp,” if you will, was not dealing with cancer herself, but walking the journey with her mom. After her mom passed, she knew this was what she was supposed to do. Her love for her clients shines from her eyes, and I know if I had any type of cancer at all, I’d run straight into her shop and her hug. Come to the Party in Pink on October 9th, and see what I’m talking about.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

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