Evans honored by Falcons after sacking breast cancer

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Kim Evans of Locust Grove had no idea, two years ago, that she would soon be in a battle for her life against breast cancer.

“I was completely shocked,” she said of her May 2014 diagnosis. “It was out of the blue. On my screening the year before, there was nothing there. Then, on that screening, it was there. There were no warning signs, no clues.”

Kim Evans, a Locust Grove resident, recently attended the Atlanta Falcons Dazzle and Dine, an annual event recognizing breast cancer survivors. Special photo

Evans, 50, was among 10 women honored this week during the Atlanta Falcons Dazzle and Dine, an annual event recognizing breast cancer survivors for the work they do to improve their respective communities. The event was highlighted during Sunday’s game pitting the Falcons against the San Diego Chargers.

Evans retired last week as a dispatcher and operator for Henry County E-911. She said from the moment she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she vowed to fight and began discussing treatment options with her doctor.

“I have children, and my children have children,” she said. “I couldn’t just leave them and say I’m done with life. For me it was just, let’s get in there and do what needs to be done. It was just a hurdle to get over and get to the next thing.”

Evans underwent a double mastectomy in October 2014. After enduring six surgeries over the course of two years, she was declared cancer-free in August of this year.

Earlier this month, Evans was notified by the Falcons organization that her daughter, Brittany Bontempo, had nominated her for recognition at Dazzle and Dine.

Evans said the honor was unexpected for both her and her daughter.

“I was so surprised,” said Evans. “I had no clue. They called me to tell me I had been chosen, so she didn’t even know.”

Ahead of Sunday’s game, Evans and nine other survivors were treated to a breakfast sponsored by Northside Hospital, and a private drumline concert. Evans recalled becoming emotional during the pregame show, when a breast-cancer flag was unfurled while the National Anthem played.

“I was just crying my eyes out because there were all these people who took time out of watching their sports thing to support us,” said Evans. “Everybody stopped partying to honor us. It was just so moving.”

The honors continued at halftime, when each survivor was paired up with a former Atlanta Falcons player to be recognized on the field. Evans was escorted by former defensive end, Grady Jackson. In addition to being recognized through Dazzle and Dine, the ladies were treated to a day of pampering and dinner on Tuesday, when Falcons players would serve as their hibachi chefs.

Ladies recognized at Dazzle and Dine are selected each year based on community involvement and dedication to breast-cancer awareness. Evans is affiliated with the nonprofit My Destiny Foundation, which provides financial and emotional support as well as education resources to individuals at risk of developing breast cancer. Funds generated by the foundation help to offset costs associated with breast screenings, genetic testing and preventative surgery. The football team will provide grants to charities in the honorees’ names, including the My Destiny Foundation.

Evans, who lost her voice due to cheering on the Falcons during Sunday’s game, nevertheless expressed her gratitude for the Falcons’ honoring her and other breast-cancer survivors. Still, she said there’s more work to be done.

“It’s great to be recognized and everything, but I’m already cancer-free,” said Evans. “We need to look forward and help the next person.”

For more information, visit www.mydestiny-us.com.