‘Breast cancer isn’t a death sentence’

Daily News
By: Elisabeth Waldon
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Daily News.

Maple Smith always thought of herself as being “the healthiest old gal around.”

The 76-year-old woman runs North Star Alpacas, a farm in Ithaca featuring 15 alpacas and 10 sheep, as well as an online fiber business. She cleans her animals’ fleece and spins, dyes and knits.

Smith was “accidentally” diagnosed with breast cancer last May. She had originally gone to Sparrow Carson Hospital for a CT urography scan. When she was told she had a lump in her breast, she couldn’t even feel it.

Smith found her cancer diagnosis “shocking” because she lives what she considered to be a clean and active lifestyle. A retired teacher, Smith has been running her alpaca farm and fiber business since her husband died 10 years ago. She’s always been able to do all the farm chores herself, but since her diagnosis, she has been thankful for the assistance from her daughter, Terre, and kind friends.

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