Fighting the fight
Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2006
By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Becki Brekenridge could not believe it when her doctor gave her the news in 2003.
She was only 35 years old. Seventy percent of breast cancer cases are found in older women.
Breckenridge had found a small mass in her chest early in 2003. It wasn't painful and she didn't think too much about it. It was about the size of a gumball, six inches below her collarbone and tender to the touch. She figured it was just a swollen lymph node.
Three days later, she was sitting in Dr. Jimmy Adkisson's office.
Breckenridge wondered if things could get any worse, and sure enough, they did. She had no health insurance, but a local Trust came to her rescue and thus began the dreaded chemotherapy.
During the next few weeks and months, she continued her treatment and was finally pronounced cancer free.
During this time, her marriage began to fail and she moved back to her parents' home. Her oncologist insisted she start managing the stress in her life. She got involved with ‘Dave Ramsey Radio Show' and attended a financial course at her church. Her life was taking a brand new direction. Today she is healthy and happy and looks forward to the future.
Rebecca Reynolds Breckenridge was born in Savannah, Ga., the daughter of a military man. Her father was stationed at Fort Stewart at the time and there is where he met and married his wife, Evelyn.
The first five years of her life, Breckenridge lived in Savannah, but after her father retired from the military, he took a civil service job at Fort Rucker near Ozark. He wanted his children to grow up in the country and that is just where they moved. The small community of Asbury became their home and Breckenridge attended school at Skipperville, some three miles away.
She graduated in 1986 and used a scholarship to go to Auburn University to become a chemical engineer. She said she chose that field because of the high pay. She was told by her recruiter that she should minor in pulp and paper and by doing so she earned scholarships to get her education at Auburn. After graduation, she took a job with the Calgon Corporation selling chemicals to the paper industry. She had already worked for a couple of summers at the Brewton mill of Smurfit-Stone and Brewton was her main stop with the chemical company.
She met and married Jack Neal here in Brewton. Two years later she opened her business, ‘The Hourglass.' Her dad was nearing retirement and after he retired, her parents also came to Brewton to live. Her mother managed the business, while her dad worked with restoration of furniture. The business continued until the flood of 1998 caused it to close for a few years. It reopened in 2002 and the next year began her battle with cancer and the end of her marriage.
The business was closed again and her parents were officially retired.
Breckenridge went to work for the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) working with job applicants, teaching the paper making process and personal developmental training. She works with stress management projects planning personality profiles.
The latest change in her life came about when she met Terrence Breckenridge. They dated for a year and one half.
The couple has moved into an old home on Evergreen next door to her parents and they are in the process of renovating and restoring it.
Right now she is in a 13-week program with the employees at David's Catfish House, which is owned by her husband.
Not only did she gain a husband when she married, but now she has a stepson, Jackson.
She plans on making Christmas extra special this year. She has seen the hard times but looks forward to decorating and spending time with the family.