Despite the rainy weather, hundreds of participants showed up for the 7th annual Paint the Park Pink held at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith campus on Saturday (Oct. 5).
The event kicked off with a breast cancer Survivor Breakfast at 8 a.m. in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center followed by a one-mile family fun walk raising funds for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Ozark affiliate organization.
The walkers sported everything pink from wigs to tutus. With umbrellas in hand, the families began their mile walk around the campus starting at the Bell Tower at 10 a.m.
As they neared the finish line of the one mile walk, they were greeted with cheering by the Darby Junior High Cheerleaders.
Debbie Lindsey is a four year breast cancer survivor. She began having chest pains and consulted her doctor. It was one year to date of her last mammogram. While doing a mammogram, two cysts that were very small and shaped like an “L” were found. Lindsey underwent an ultrasound and a biopsy and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.
Like a lot of women, Lindsey did not do self-breast examinations; however, she does do them regularly now. She has a family history of breast cancer in that her mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Her first thought when diagnosed was “Oh, my family, my grandbabies.”
She had to undergo a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and lymph node therapy. Her husband never left her side being with her every step of the way. Even though Lindsey is now cancer free, she has to get a mammogram every six months.
Her best advice: “Get your mammogram.”
Her best friend, Linda Collins said “Debbie nagged me to go and get a mammogram.” Collins did get a mammogram and she was diagnosed with cancer. Collins is now a one-year survivor. She walks with her friend now not only for her friend but also for herself.
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Ozark affiliate organization spreads the life-saving message of early detection and supports breast cancer screening, treatment and diagnostic programs in the River Valley and Northwest Arkansas.