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By Emily Hill, Star Local News

Celina will be seeing pink throughout October in honor of both Breast Cancer Awareness and Celina resident Jenny Mills, the wife of Celina Fire Division Chief Kyle Mills who is battling breast cancer.

“The support everywhere has been so amazing,” Jenny Mills said. “We are so thankful for everyone’s time, effort and love. I’m not used to being on this side of it. I’m used to being on the other side and helping others.”

Several community events are scheduled to raise fund for Mills, who was diagnosed with Stage 1 Type “T” cancer. Up until recently, Mills has had no medical insurance–her treatments and surgeries have been paid out-of-pocket, which prompts the need for help from the community.

On Oct. 15, the Susan G. Komen Dallas County Race for the Cure was held in Dallas. “Team Jenny,” who includes Mills, her family and friends, participated in the annual 5K walk/run.

“All of us have gotten together to help out,” Lori McAndrew, Team Jenny captain, said.

This weekend, the Breast Cancer Awareness and Fundraising event will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Lucy’s Restaurant and on the Square in Celina, 127 North Ohio Street.

The evening will be host to a DJ, dancing and both vocal and silent auctions. Proceeds from the event will go toward Mills’ treatments. Lucy’s has also offered to donate 50 percent of their profits to Mills. The goal is to raise $20,000 to help the Mills pay for a portion of the treatments. Without the help, the treatments will have to be delayed.

The auction is still accepting donations. Cash contributions are accepted as well. Donations may be made to the Jenny Mills Cancer Treatment Fund at Texas Star Bank in Celina, 320 South Preston Rd. P.O. Box 1600 in Celina or by calling 972-382-2347.

That same night, the Jenny Mills Softball Tournament will begin at 8 p.m. at the Old Celina Park, Farm-to-Market 428. There is a $200 registration fee per team, but all proceeds will go toward the Mills.

A concession stand will be open and will be selling Team Jenny t-shirts for $15, which can be found online at www.teamjennymills.com. The Celina Fire Department is selling the shirts as well, which can be picked up at the fire station, 311 North Louisiana Drive.

To register a team for the tournament, contact Cody Web atcwebb@celina-tx.gov.

“It’s comforting that a community like ours is willing to step up and help the way they have,” Mills said.

Businesses have also jumped in on the fundraisers as well. Dimples Cupcake Factory will be helping Mills every Friday until Oct. 28. The shop is located on the Frisco Square, 8880 Coleman Blvd in Frisco. For information, call 214-494-4446.

Daphne Hallman, Park Lane sales vice president, is offering a clear and ruby pink crystal-studded “ribbon” tied in a bow “Hope” ring for $50. Mills will receive $25 on each ring purchase.

To order the ring, call Hallman at 214-912-8042 or email her atathomedaphne@sbcglobal.net. For the full line, visit atwww.myparklane.com/dazzling daphne.

Mills’ fight against breast cancer began on April 17 when she felt a lump in her right breast as she and her husband Kyle were putting their 3-year-old daughter Brae to bed. A month later, she visited her family physician and got a mammogram done.

On June 13, the radiologist called her and told Mills that her biopsy came back malignant.

“I was really shocked,” Mills said. “Never in my life would I think this would happen.”

Mills said that breast cancer doesn’t run in the family, and that she has been in great health all her life. Her husband Kyle was shocked as well, but she said he has become a rock for her. Mills said before she started her treatment, Kyle gave her a necklace of an anchor with a cross on it.

“He said I’ve always been the anchor of our family and he wanted to the anchor [now],” Mills said.

Since being diagnosed, Mills has endured a double mastectomy, reconstruction surgery, hormone therapy and chemotherapy. She begins her second round of chemo on Oct. 6. She will have to complete a total of four rounds of chemo.

Mills does have some control over the cancer and its effects. She started losing her hair, so instead of watching it all fall out, she decided to have a shaving party and get rid of all of it at once. She invited her mother and brother over and Kyle and Brae shaved off her hair. Mills even shaved off her brother’s hair.

“At first, she [Brae] cried because she didn’t understand why Mommy’s hair had to go,” Mills said. “Now she tells me ‘I love your new haircut, Mommy.’ She likes all my hats and scarves.”

Mills is a Celina resident, but she is also a biology teacher and the assistant basketball coach at Frisco Wakeland High School. So far, she has only miss one day of school and plans on missing only half a day on Thursday. However, her chemo begins at the start of the new season for the girls’ basketball team.

In the beginning I was really upset because I supposed to be done by the time basketball started,” Mills said. “Now that it was all changed, I think it’s going to be fine. Missing practices will be minimal, and I don’t think I will miss any games.”

She said both the staff and the girls on the team have been very supportive of her. Even the head coach, who has personally been affected by breast cancer through a family member, has been understanding of Mills when she misses a practice.

“She knows what it’s like, and she’s been so understanding,” Mills said. “The girls are just amazing. They’ve been awesome.”

Mills’ goal is to work and be with friends and family as long as she is up to it. She doesn’t want to sit at home and think about the cancer and feel depressed.

“That gets old,” Mills said. “[Staying active], I guess that’s my way of fighting it.”

She said the hardest part in dealing with cancer is realizing that she had a disease and not feeling as well as she’d like to.

“I don’t like being down,” Mills said.

Mills is now an advocate for performing breast self-exams. She herself had never consistently did a self exam.

“Start checking yourself as a young kid, that way you know if something’s different. I got really lucky,” Mills said.

Donations can also be made to Mills through the Celina Fire Department, 311 North Louisiana Drive.

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