Breast Cancer Survivor Speaks About Cooper High's "Coogs for the Cure"

According to the American Cancer Society, experts estimate more than 225,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer, just this year.

Breast cancer survivor and mother of two, Terri Russell puts a face to that number.

"You wonder how long you'll be able to live and if you'll be at your kids weddings," said Russell.

Russell was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2011.

After undergoing six weeks of radiation therapy, she's now in remission -- cancer-free and nearing the finish line of what doctors call the most troubling period.

"They say the first two years are the most crucial times as far as having a recurrence," she explained.

Her son, Cooper High linebacker sophomore Nick Russell, is now front and center in a cause that's close to his heart.

"I wanted to get involved because it's affect me and my family very directly, with my mother having breast cancer," Nick said.

He's talking about Coogs for the Cure. Last year, students raised $23,000 dollars from t-shirt and wristband sales with the fundraiser.

Every cent of that goes to the Hendrick Vera West Hope Fund, which provides mammograms to women who cannot afford the procedure at no cost. 

"It was a mammogram that saved my life," Russell said, who had been getting the procedure every year after she turned 40 years old.

On the back of the pink Cougar Fight Club T-shirts are 219 names from the Cougar Nation -- breast cancer survivors and warriors.

"It is our chance to be able to pay tribute to those who have struggled, provide encouragement to those who are fighting the fight and to celebrate with those who have won," said Cooper High Head Coach Todd Moebus.

The second annual Coogs for the Cure football game is Friday night at Shotwell Stadium against Midland.

A check will be presented to the Hope Fund just before the game.

You can still purchase T-shirts for $15 or wristbands for $2 at Cooper High during school hours.

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