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South Texas Living

Benefit for Smith includes food, music

Benefit for Smith  includes food, music
East Central High School graduate and area resident Cori Bartleson Smith is battling breast cancer. A benefit is set for Aug. 3 in St. Hedwig.

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Pascalle Bippert
WCN Correspondent
July 31, 2013
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Cancer didn’t figure in Cori (Bartleson) Smith’s life.

A 1987 graduate of East Central High School, she’s lived her life in this area and has worked for Shear Image, an Alamo Heights hair salon, for 21 years.

At 43, Cori said she had never had a mammogram. It was never a convenient time, she said, among the reasons why she had not. Then one morning, Cori felt a lump in her breast. She took her two sons to school and immediately went to see her doctor.

She was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma -- breast cancer.

Cori didn’t carry any of the risk factors often mentioned, and she always thought, “It will never happen to me.”

Her husband, Geoff, and her two sons -- Shepherd, 10, and Westin, 7, are some of her biggest supporters.

She recently finished her last chemotherapy treatment and credits her oncologist as being very progressive, preventive, and wonderful. Before starting her treatments, her doctor started her on supplements to keep her from being so sick.

She encourages all women to have mammograms done regularly.

“A mammogram doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as chemotherapy does,” Cori said.

As a hairstylist, Cori never thought she’d lose her hair.

“Losing my hair was a lot harder emotionally on me than I thought it would be,” she said.

Looking for something to cover her head after losing her hair, she found Skin & Wigs Etc. on West Avenue in San Antonio. The shop owner, Patsy Carver, also a cancer survivor, had lost her hair, so she understood how important it was to be sensitive to the situation and was wonderful to work with, Cori said.

The next step in the “inconvenient part of my journey,” as Cori calls it, is surgery for a double mastectomy, set for Aug. 26.

“I’m going to do everything I can so I never have to hear those words again: You have cancer,” she said of her choice to undergo the radical surgery.

Cori underlines the importance God has in her life.

“I would not be here without Him, His guidance, reassurance, and strength,” she said. “I give Him all the glory.”

Her friends have been, “Amazing!” Cori said. “They’ve been a huge blessing and they take my breath away.”

A team of Cori’s friends and family are holding a benefit Saturday, Aug. 3, from 5 p.m. to midnight in the American Legion Hall in St. Hedwig. This will include barbecue plates, beverages, a bake sale, silent auction, kids’ area, face painting, washer tournament, live music, photo booth, and more.

“Come join in the fun!” Cori said. “I want to look at this as a celebration of life and love and being done with this part of my beautiful journey.”

Tickets are available at Baby B & Mommy boutique in China Grove, Solarczyk Automotive in St. Hedwig, and at Shear Image salon in Alamo Heights. All proceeds will help cover Cori’s medical costs and related expenses.

The $15 tickets include dinner and dancing. Tickets for children under 12 are $10. Follow Cori’s journey by visiting her caringbridge page at - corismith1. Those unable to attend her benefit are invited to pray for her speedy recovery and healing.

Invasive ductal carcinoma

According to, “invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), sometimes called infiltrating ductal carcinoma, is the most common type of breast cancer. About 80 percent of all breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinomas.” This is a “... cancer that has broken through the wall of the milk duct and begun to invade the tissues of the breast. Over time, invasive ductal carcinoma can spread to the lymph nodes and possibly to other areas of the body.”

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