Photo by Heather Middleton
By Maria-Jose Subiria
Many breast cancer survivors and supporters crossed county lines and joined forces at an event, that, some said, boosted their spirits.
People from several counties, including Clayton, Henry, Pike and Spalding, were present, Saturday, for the "PINK Ribbon Breakfast," held at the Lovejoy Community Center, in Lovejoy.
About 250 people attended the event, which was hosted by McNair Productions, Inc., according to Kim McNair, founder of McNair Productions.
"This is wonderful," said McNair. "Look at the diversity ... Everybody is coming together."
The room was filled with light-pink balloons, table cloths, as well as, men and women, who wore pink-colored clothing and accessories.
Things got started with a performance of the national anthem by singer, Genesis Moore, of McDonough, who is a former "American Idol" contestant, according to McNair.
The United States Army Reserve Command Honor Guard, from Ft. McPherson, made an appearance during the performance.
Attendees were provided with a hearty breakfast that included sausage, grits, bacon and biscuits, courtesy of Heavenly Gifts, a catering company.
While eating his meal, participant, Booker Moore, said, although he isn't a breast cancer survivor, he survived prostate cancer, and is able to relate to those who are experiencing, or have overcome, breast cancer.
"It is events like these that awaken the sleeping giant within us ... People have to get the message out that this is not a silent killer, it's a pronounced killer, and we need to put him on notice," said Moore.
Lesley Hudson, a breast cancer survivor, and Dr. Davis Timbert, of Southern Crescent Breast Specialists, P.C., in Jonesboro, received the PINK Spirit Award. The awards were framed certificates from the City of Lovejoy, which included the city's seal and the signature of Lovejoy Mayor Joe Murphy.
Timbert said his practice specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and breast-related diseases. It is located at Spivey Station, 7823 Spivey Station Blvd., Suite 200, in Jonesboro.
He said he has a passion for what he does. "We work long hours, but I always put it in a context of how I would want it to be done for my wife," said Timbert, in tears, during his acceptance speech for the award.
"You guys give me inspiration everyday ... Once we have hope -- we can accomplish anything."
Janet Beebe, director, president and founder of The Breast Cancer Survivors' Network, said Timbert is certainly deserving of the award, because of his dedication to his patients.
Beebe said she refers patients to Timbert, and they provide her with feedback on their experiences with the doctor.
"The patients say he calls them at night, to know how they are doing after surgery ... He is just a super guy," said Beebe.
Award winner, Lesley Hudson, said she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 39 years old, in May 2006. She said she relied on her faith in God to get through her journey.
"Thank you so much," said Hudson, to the audience as she received her award. "I truly believe being diagnosed is a blessing."
The breast cancer event also had a couple of other survivors share their stories. Barbie Hedges, of McDonough, said she found out she carried the disease in June 2009, during a time when her emotional wounds were still fresh from losing her mother to ovarian cancer, and her grandmother to cervical cancer.
Hedges said she had stage-two breast cancer and became angry and hurt.
"I wanted nothing to do with breast cancer," she said. Hedges said she eventually got through her emotional distress, and survived the disease.
Mary Gilbert, who is also from McDonough, said she is a 14-year breast cancer survivor.
Gilbert said she remembered being late for her mammogram, and thought it was just another day at the doctor's office. She said it turned out that she had breast cancer, and her doctor informed her she had six months to live.
She said her life after breast cancer has been better than before, because she no longer worries about the little things in life.