Breast cancer survivors leave their mark

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Decked out in sashes and every shade of pink, survivors owned breast cancer on Thursday.
The Komen North Mississippi Race for the Cure honored those brave women who have faced down breast cancer at its 15th annual survivors’ lunch at First United Methodist Church in Tupelo.
“You are living examples every day of what it means to be a survivor,” said event chairwoman Cindy Edwards as she welcomed more than 100 survivors and their guests.
The survivors’ lunch has been a tradition for friends and six-year breast cancer survivors Wanda Sullivan and Cindy Layman, who graduated high school together and work together at Itawamaba Community College-Tupelo.
“We share too much,” said Sullivan with a laugh.
Just as Sullivan and Layman drew strength from each other, they draw strength from the larger community of survivors who gather at the annual lunch.
“It’s great to see all the survivors,” Layman said. “There’s so many more now.”
One-year breast cancer survivor and luncheon speaker Liz Dawson talked about how annual mammograms changed the course of her cancer journey.
“The only thing that caught it was a mammogram,” Dawson said. If she hadn’t been diligent about her annual mammograms, “I probably wouldn’t be standing here telling you I was cancer free with only a two percent chance of reoccurrence.”
The 15th annual Komen North Mississippi Race for the Cure will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday in front of the Hilton Garden Inn.
“Cancer doesn’t wait for rain or shine,” Race director Edwin Crenshaw told the crowd. “We don’t either,” but he did encourage participants to dress in layers to counter the temperatures in the mid-40s.
michaela.morris@journalinc.com

Race for the Cure
Race starts 8 a.m. Saturday in front of Hilton Garden Inn, Tupelo.
Walk-up registration/packet pick-up:

• Noon to 7 p.m. today at the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau; cost is $30; chip timing $5 more.

• Saturday: On-site registration at Fairpark will be $35; no electronic scoring available.