The Villages - October 2021 - 10

A MARCH
THROUGH CANCER
Ann Pelle Tells Her Survivor Story
It's hard to miss Ann Pelle when she's wearing a glittery
costume and throwing a fiery baton. A parade enthusiast
and longtime competitive majorette, Pelle now serves as
the president of The Villages Twirlers.
A Maryland native, Pelle moved to
The Villages with her husband Mike
two decades ago. She spends her time
planning and organizing events for
the more than 100 members of the
team. In her Villages home, an entire
room sparkles with her vast collection
of studded crowns, silky sashes and
shimmering dresses or pleated skirts.
Pageants and performance are her
passions. And while she maintains a
large circle of friends, her recent breast
cancer diagnosis brought her closer than
ever to a few. After years of bolstering
team spirit, Pelle found herself in need of the same.
Last January, Pelle went in for a routine mammogram.
" I never missed one, so when they told me they saw
something on the screen, I wasn't immediately worried, "
she said.
Pelle explains she'd had similar visits in the past,
" Thank God it wasn't worse, " she said. " They'd caught it
I BROUGHT ALL THE
CROWNS TO OUR
MEETING AT LA
HACIENDA. I CALLED
THEM UP AND PUT A
BEAUTIFUL CROWN ON
EACH OF THEIR HEADS.
IT WAS SO EMOTIONAL.
WE WERE ALL CRYING.
- Ann Pelle
early because I got regular mammograms. "
Admittedly a type-A personality, Pelle worried about
letting people down. What would her
life be like now that her focus had to
be about fighting breast cancer? Still,
she felt strongly about spreading the
word, bringing awareness to others and
driving home the importance of regular
screenings. Also, she wanted to let all of
her friends know in one fell swoop. With
that in mind, she turned to Facebook.
" It was a way to update my extended
family and friends, " she said. " People
were asking questions, and I had to let
my teammates know in case I needed to
take time out. "
Pelle thought about the women who'd
and further imaging tests had always come back okay.
Sometimes, the pictures aren't clear or a radiologist sees
calcifications or differences in parts of the breast. According
to The American Cancer Society, repeat mammograms are
usually not cause for concern.
Fewer than one in 10 women called
back for more tests are found
to have cancer. But for Pelle, a
second screening didn't offer
good news. To get a closer look,
doctors ordered a diagnostic test
and a biopsy.
" It was a 40-minute mammogram.
And I'm not a whiner,
but it was painful. I was black
and blue from my neck to my
stomach. "
Shortly after her tests, Pelle
received a call. It was cancer and
she'd need a lumpectomy.
10
OCTOBER 2021
been here before, how she'd organized a fundraiser for a
friend with breast cancer who didn't have health insurance
- how she and her Twirlers teammates had presented
survivors with Pelle's pink pageant crowns.
" We surprised them, " she said. " I brought all the crowns
to our meeting at La Hacienda (Recreation Center). I called
them up and put a beautiful crown on each of their heads. It
was so emotional. We were all crying. "

The Villages - October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - October 2021

Contents
The Villages - October 2021 - Cover1
The Villages - October 2021 - Contents
The Villages - October 2021 - 1
The Villages - October 2021 - 2
The Villages - October 2021 - 3
The Villages - October 2021 - 4
The Villages - October 2021 - 5
The Villages - October 2021 - 6
The Villages - October 2021 - 7
The Villages - October 2021 - 8
The Villages - October 2021 - 9
The Villages - October 2021 - 10
The Villages - October 2021 - 11
The Villages - October 2021 - 12
The Villages - October 2021 - 13
The Villages - October 2021 - 14
The Villages - October 2021 - 15
The Villages - October 2021 - 16
The Villages - October 2021 - 17
The Villages - October 2021 - 18
The Villages - October 2021 - 19
The Villages - October 2021 - 20
The Villages - October 2021 - 21
The Villages - October 2021 - 22
The Villages - October 2021 - 23
The Villages - October 2021 - 24
The Villages - October 2021 - 25
The Villages - October 2021 - 26
The Villages - October 2021 - 27
The Villages - October 2021 - 28
The Villages - October 2021 - 29
The Villages - October 2021 - 30
The Villages - October 2021 - 31
The Villages - October 2021 - 32
The Villages - October 2021 - 33
The Villages - October 2021 - 34
The Villages - October 2021 - 35
The Villages - October 2021 - 36
The Villages - October 2021 - 37
The Villages - October 2021 - 38
The Villages - October 2021 - 39
The Villages - October 2021 - 40
The Villages - October 2021 - 41
The Villages - October 2021 - 42
The Villages - October 2021 - 43
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The Villages - October 2021 - Cover3
The Villages - October 2021 - Cover4
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