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Heeter presentation focuses on self-care after cancer diagnosis

There's certainly nothing funny about being diagnosed with breast cancer, but maintaining a sense of humor can go a long way in making a difficult situation a little easier.

On that note, join nationally-recognized motivational speaker Karla Heeter for an evening of fun and laughter on Monday, Oct. 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Doublewood Inn, 3333 13th Ave. S., Fargo.

A breast cancer survivor, Heeter will rely on wit and humor to share her message of self-care after a cancer diagnosis. Titled "Living with Cancer, Surviving a Cancer Diagnosis," the event is open free of charge to survivors, caregivers, family and friends.

The timing of the presentation coincides with the national observance of October as breast cancer awareness month. Also participating in the evening activities as master of ceremonies will be North Dakota's former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, also a breast cancer survivor.

Heeter's presentation will feature some of her materials from a piece she calls "If You're Too Busy To Laugh, You're Too Busy!" - a fast moving, very funny presentation about the benefits of humor and the importance of fun in your life.

"It's sort of like a stand-up comedy routine with some meat and potatoes...important life lessons to take away for people in all walks of life," Heeter said. "I often say that this presentation is good for anyone that breaths."

"Since much of my audience will be cancer survivors and/or caregivers, I will draw on my journey with cancer, since we will have that in common, talking about the physiological and psychological benefits of humor and how important it is to have an attitude for fun. Sometimes as cancer patients, our medical professionals simply treat our disease, and we are left to manage the mental/emotional side of the journey. Humor and fun are absolutely crucial to our survival."

Heeter's presentation will also touch on the role of caregivers who often forget the importance of taking care of themselves. "I am convinced that the best way to do this is through humor and laughter," she added. "People will go away from this presentation with the practical tools to reap the benefits of humor in their lives."

The evening will also feature a variety of other activities including booth displays, a book signing, massage therapy, refreshments and door prizes.

Sponsors for the event include Thrivent Financial for Lutherans East Cass County and Clay County Chapters, in partnership with the Parish Nurse Association, American Cancer Society, and District 4 of the North Dakota Nurses Association.

More information is available about Heeter on her Web site at