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The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida • Page 14
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The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida • Page 14

The Tampa Tribunei
Tampa, Florida
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(-FLORIDAMETRO THE TAMPA TRIBUNE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3. 1997 PocusOnFlorida Send commerte and tips through e-mai to LAWRENCE FLETCHER, Senidf EditorNews, (813) 259-7626 Honda Metro tax, (813) 259-7676 Breast cancer education targets girls 3f s-- 'at Cancer is one of those things that many people take the approach of rather not wanting to know about it We're trying to change that through education. i iiTO-f "I i i I vX AP photo Jerry Macke looks out of what was his bedroom window Sunday after an early morning tornado ripped New Smyrna Beach, damaging or destroying more than 300 buildings. Tornado rips off roofs, smashes homes, injures 32 MIAMI High school girls in south Florida listen to stories from cancer survivors and learn about risk factors. By RACHEL LA CORTE of The Associated Press Ten days after her wedding, Tammy Rubin-Rice was diagnosed with breast cancer.

One year later, the cancer gone, she stood before a group of 30 teenage girls and proved that a diagnosis of cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. "Initially, I thought I would die," she told the students. "I quickly realized that I had a very good chance I would live a long time." Rubin-Rice's appearance last month was part of a new program designed to get teen girls to take the threat of breast cancer seriously. At a breast cancer awareness seminar at Miami's Baptist Hospital, the high school students listened to cancer survivors and learned about risk factors, breast exams and the importance of family health history. The biggest obstacle breast cancer educators face is breaking through the feeling of invincibility that many teens have.

A student at Palmetto Senior High School in Miami, Heikel Ramirez, 15, said she will have a biopsy in November to check out a lump in her breast. Even after hearing the potential dangers, Ramirez was unwilling to believe that anything was seriously wrong with her. "I doubt that it's even there," she said nonchalantly. And if something is there? "If it happens, it happens," she said. It's that type of attitude that Rubin-Rice tried to address with her speech.

"The No. 1 risk factor for getting breast cancer is being a woman," she said afterward. "I don't want to scare them to think that they will get it, but it's very important that even at this young age they be aware of their bodies." The students' field trip was sponsored by United HealthCare of Florida, which is testing the program in South Florida before deciding whether to expand it nationwide. "The hope is, as we help these young women gain more understanding of the disease, that helps to overcome the fear factor," said Gary Schultz United's CEO of South Florida Gary Schultz, United's CEO of South Florida. "Cancer is one of those things that many people take the approach of rather not wanting to know about it.

We're trying to change that through education." Donald White, a spokesman for the American Association of Health Plans in Washington, D.C., said he is not aware of any other breast cancer prevention program in the country that specifically targets adolescents, and that a program like this is mutually beneficial to insurance companies and potential patients. "All parts of the health care system have an ethical and moral imperative to promote prevention," White said. "But, also, there is a financial incentive." According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for one out of every three cancer diagnoses in the United States. In 1997, society data showed that about 180,200 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed and about 43,900 women died from the disease. During Rubin-Rice's talk, the 10th- and llth-grade health class students from Palmetto Senior High listened closely as she told them about chemotherapy, losing her long blond hair and the strain that was put on her new marriage because of her cancer.

She had a lumpectomy, removing the cancer from her right breast as well as 18 lymph nodes under her right arm. The lymph nodes were removed to test and see if the cancer had spread. She was lucky. It had not. Many of the students could personally relate to Rubin-Rice.

When asked how many knew somebody who had breast cancer, more than half of the girls raised their hands. NEW SMYRNA BEACH Roofs are gone and some buildings had their second stories torn off Sunday as a tornado struck. An Associated Press report A tornado skipped across four parts of this Atlantic Coast community early Sunday, tearing second stories off homes, damaging at least 300 buildings and injuring 32 people. The twister caused at least $10 million worth of damages. Six storm victims remained hospitalized Sunday night, one with a broken back and another with a broken pelvis.

No one was killed, police said. "The fire de- fcfc Everything partment went cyeryuuiig door-to-door just broke loose. I looking for people," xe fa said police spokes- man Mike barbecue grill on Brouiliette. the oorch take off astated by the storm about 1:30 a.m., and about 100 residents of DiamondHead Point took refuge in their clubhouse. The residents at the complex on the Indian River, many of them retirees, were evacuated while the damage levels were assessed.

"It woke me up and almost sucked my wife out the window," said Roger Vayles, a resident of the condo complex. His wife Sal got up to close the window because of the rain, and the storm hit as she was returning to bed, he said. She later was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. "Everything just broke loose," Vayles said. "I could see the barbecue grill on the porch take off like a bullet.

Then the window blew out, and my wife had to hold onto the banister." Nearly 200 people were forced out of their damaged homes, including the condo complex, and have relocated to two shelters opened by the city or to the homes of relatives and friends. City officials set a nighttime curfew from sunset to sunrise. A police officer in nearby Port Orange was injured in an accident on Interstate 95 when his car was struck by a pickup truck during the early morning storm. The officer, who was investigating another accident on the interstate, was briefly hospitalized with lacerations and contusions, said police spokesman Mike Sheridan. Damaged neighborhoods in the Volusia County community just south of Daytona Beach have been closed to everyone except residents and emergency workers.

New Smyrna Beach High School will be closed until at least midweek because of the damage. "Curious and everyone are asked to stay away," Brouiliette said. Firefighters dug some people out of beachside homes that collapsed, and utility crews worked to restore power to thousands of city residents. Utility officials were not available Sunday to provide an estimate of the number without power. The tornado was part of a stormy weather front that caused problems across the Florida Peninsula Sunday.

Another tornado touched down in Cape Coral in southwest Florida, causing minor damage to homes in a two-square-mile area. No one was injured. At DiamondHead condos in New Smyrna Beach, Bill Scholl said, "The whole building shook. It trembled." The storm broke water pipes in the condo and flooded many hallways, he said. "There was water running down the stairwells like Niagara Falls." liTt.

like a bullet uuuaca uiat liavc: the roofs gone, and some two-story buildings have their Roger Vayles whole second story Beach just leveled." A 64-unit condominium complex was dev- Air Force tells Hope, 'Thanks for the memories' An Associated Press report NICEVILLE The Air Force has thanked Bob Hope for the memories and much more during a tribute in his honor. The 94-year-old comedian is perhaps best known for entertaining U.S. troops in faraway places, but he also has come to the Florida Panhandle almost every year to perform in benefit shows that raised money for the Air Force Enlisted Widows' and Dependents' Foundation. It operates two complexes for elderly widows in nearby Fort Walton Beach, one named Bob Hope Village. The foundation returned the favor Saturday night with a performance in honor of Hope and his wife, Delores.

The couple sat quietly on stage through nearly two hours of songs by the Air Force's Tops in Blue show band, singer-actress Gloria Loring, videos of Hope's overseas tours and tributes at Okaloosa-Walton Community College. But they surprised the audience of 1,600 as well as organizers by closing the show with a duet. The tribute brought back memories for many veterans such as Marlin Griffin, a former combat cameraman, who saw three Bob Hope shows during the 1940s. "Everyone was so excited when he would show up," Griffin said. "He took it so seriously.

He was so touched by the vets and it showed. It was compassion." Hope grinned and his wife blew a kiss to Loring, who had toured with Hope in Vietnam, when she called the couple "the great love story of a lifetime." The tribute was part of a weekend celebration of the Air Force's 50th anniversary that included air shows featuring the service's flight demonstration team, the Thun-derbirds, at nearby Eglin Air Force Base. He took it so seriously. He was so touched by the vets, and it showed It was compassion. Martin Griffin Former combat cameraman Wife killed, husband wounded in apparent murder'suicide try ED- yjpjftt iJSHERIFF Yet no one seemed to know why she had gone from being a happy, outgoing person who loved to dance and swim to someone who was sullen and hostile.

"They used to have such a good time. They'd go out for dinner and dancing," Alice Josephs said. "Then she got sick." Mary Machunk hit her husband of five years, hollered at him and called him names, Alice and Al Josephs said. Saturday, Mary Machunk lay on the floor of the couple's mobile home for hours, refusing to get up or drink a sip of water, Alice Josephs said. Alice Josephs tried talking to her after Joseph Machunk asked for help, she said.

But the woman yelled at her, tried to hit her when she got near her and told her to go home, she said. Despite her problems, Joseph Machunk didn't seem to lose his temper or patience, Alice Josephs said. gunshot wound and her 74-year-old husband wounded when she went to the 35039 Wagner Way home Sunday about 9:25 a.m., said Pasco County sheriffs spokesman Jon Powers. Powers said the case is being investigated as a possible murder-attempted suicide. He said an autopsy is pending.

Joseph Machunk, who has diabetes, was in critical condition Sunday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, a nursing supervisor said. Joseph Machunk's neighbors at Colony Hills Mobile Home Park, near State Road 54, said he was a pleasant man with a sense of humor. He spent much of his time caring for his wife whose problems had worsened in the past couple of years after an automobile accident. He took his wife to as many as three physicians in a day, trying to get her help, neighbors said.

ZEPHYRHILLS An elderly woman is killed and her husband critically wounded in what authorities believe is a murder-attempted suicide. By JANET LEISER of The Tampa Tribune Joseph Machunk had made plans to place his ailing wife, Mary, in a nursing home, friends said, but decided against it at the last minute. "He said he couldn't go through with it he couldn't do it to her," Alice Josephs said Sunday, as she watched homicide detectives come and go from the home where the Machunks had lived for at least 10 years. Now there is yellow crime-scene tape in the yard, along with the purple periwinkles, planted by Joseph Machunk, and the statue of the Blessed Virgin. A nurse who regularly visits the home found Mafy Machunk, 72, dead with a ANDY JONESTribune photo Pasco County sheriffs deputies and crime technicians enter a Zephyrhills home Sunday to investigate an apparent murder-attempted suicide.

"He was so good to her," Al Josephs said. "He didn't want to commit her. He loved her very much." Janet Leiser covers courts In Pasco. Reach her at (813) 846-VI10. About two weeks ago, Joseph Machunk told the Josephs that he had made plans to put his wife in a nursing home.

On the day she was to be admitted, he changed his mind..

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