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Support key to fighting cancer

During lunchtime Tuesday, an ocean of pink flooded the Ministry Center of First United Methodist Church. Pink balloons, tablecloths and lunch boxes adorned a large room filled with hundreds of women, many clad in pink themselves, who were gathered there for King’s Daughters Medical Center’s Think Pink! Luncheon.

The luncheon featured two KDMC affiliate specialty physicians, Dr. Michael Peavey from Brookhaven Surgery Clinic and Dr. Justin Baker from Jackson Oncology Associates, as well as Sally-Ann Roberts of WWL-TV New Orleans.

DAILY LEADER / NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Christi Mills greets Terri Moak at KDMC's Think Pink! luncheon.

DAILY LEADER / NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Christi Mills greets Terri Moak at KDMC’s Think Pink! luncheon.

While a lot of the luncheon’s conversation focused on awareness, early detection, self-examinations and other services available to women of the Brookhaven area, a special part of the conversation focused on the support systems available for women diagnosed with breast cancer or who have someone close to them diagnosed with beast cancer.

Representatives from two of those support organizations, Mississippi Girls for the Cure and Pink Sisters, spoke at the luncheon. They, along with the other speakers all spoke of the combined benefits of medicine and support from family and friends.

“You have your doctors doing what they do. But after you leave the doctor’s, then what?” Janice Wallace, a member of Pink Sisters, said. Pink Sisters is a breast cancer support group made up of women who have survived or are currently experiencing breast cancer.

When Wallace was diagnosed with breast cancer, she found that there wasn’t a support group in the area. A friend who had it a year before came over and gave her support, but when the friend’s cancer returned later on Wallace and other friends took her to dinner which sparked the beginning of Pink Sisters. Now with about 20 members, Pink Sisters meet every three weeks to give support to the women of the group.

“In December I was diagnosed with a recurrence. In January we went to a meeting and almost every Sister was there,” Carolyn Logan who is another charter member of Pink Sisters, said. “They had flower for me, they had gifts for me, and they had prayers for me.”

Logan shared if any one of the Sisters had a problem, the other Pink Sisters would be there to encourage, show support or help out in any way possible. The organization reminds its members and anyone they talk to that they are not a “pity party” group but a group dedicated to encouraging women with breast cancer physically and mentally with whatever needs they may have.

Another organization that serves the women of Brookhaven is Mississippi Girls for the Cure. Working along with the Susan G. Koman organization, MS Girls for the Cure takes of group of six to seven women places around the country for a three-day 60-mile walk.

Walking 20 miles a day for three days and camping for the two nights in between, these Brookhaven women join thousands of others every year in places like Tampa, Florida, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Georgia, and Dallas, Texas for the walking and camping trip.

Margarette Roberson shared that the Mississippi group got together in 2006 after a friend saw it on television. Roberson is a founding member of the MS Girls for the Cure. The group has to raise $2,300 per person for the walk so they host a 5k every year during the Ole Brook festival. They also hold other fundraisers throughout the year.

“The money is for the research, but the walk is for you,” Roberson said. “It makes you prove to yourself that you can do it.”

MS Girls for the Cure serves breast cancer survivors, women diagnosed with breast cancer and women who have close ones who have been diagnosed.

“It’s one of the most important parts,” Wallace said, speaking about the role support plays in the journey for the cure. “When you walk out of that doctor’s office you think, ‘How am I supposed to feel? I’m scared.’ It’s good to know there’s someone you can talk to.”

Logan echoes Wallace’s statement sharing that many women newly diagnosed with breast cancer want to speak with someone who has survived since being diagnosed.

“We love it,” Logan said. “It’s like a ministry. We’ve been there, done that.”

Pink Sisters raises money all year round by selling T-shirts in the spring and fall of each year as well as koozies. Right now they are selling tickets for a 10-22 Ruger pink rifle. Contact Carolyn Logan at 601-320-0302 for more information. The tickets are $2 and an easy way to contribute to the group.