POINT PLEASANT — “Get your mammograms … that’s how mine (cancer) was found.”
Those words of 23-year breast cancer survivor Marilyn Higginbotham were heard by those gathered this week to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month at an event held at the Mason County Library and hosted by Mason County CEOS Clubs.
Club members, along with personnel from the Mason County Health Department, County Commission President Rick Handley and Pastor Doug Hendrixson, gathered at the library for the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month wreath hanging. Hendrixson gave the invocation, Mason County CEOS Council President Clinedda Austin gave remarks and Handley hung the wreath.
Later, an informal reception was conducted with light refreshments and a candle-lighting ceremony where candles were lit for those who have lost their battle to cancer and those who are still fighting it.
Higginbotham was the special speaker at the reception. She showed those gathered one of her most valued possessions — a cross-stitch hanging made by her daughter-in-law, with each family member having placed a stitch somewhere upon it. The hanging talks about taking life for granted prior to cancer and how life is precious. Most importantly, the hanging ends with the words “I am a survivor.”
“We all take life for granted,” Higginbotham said. “Life is precious.”
Higginbotham also thanked God for her recovery.
“I praise the Lord for it. People prayed for me and I cannot thank the Lord enough,” Higginbotham said.
Higginbotham will be one of many participating in the upcoming Walk for Women on Sunday, Oct. 11, sponsored by CEOS clubs who team up with the Mason County Health Department every year for the event. This year, the health department will be providing a free women’s health clinic with blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks, information on breast exams, etc.
Registration for the walk is at 1 p.m. at the parking lot of the Mason County Courthouse. The walk begins at 2 p.m. on Fifth Street and typically goes to Tu-Endie-Wei Park and back along Riverfront Park. Survivors cut the start ribbon and several 4-H clubs are also involved in supporting the walk though anyone can participate. Participation is free though donations are appreciated.
A special addition to the walk this year will be performances from New Haven Elementary’s Tiger Music starting prior to the walk at 1:15 p.m. There will also be homemade desserts and cookies for sale.
All proceeds go to the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment Fund.
To find out more information on the walk, call the WVU Extension Office at 304-675-0888.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.