Sharing your breast cancer story can help many

Published 6:37 pm Thursday, October 12, 2017

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a walk against breast cancer organized by the Believers of Faith Cancer Organization at Halls Ferry Park.

Decked out in pink, survivors, widows and supporters walked a loop around the Halls Ferry track.

They each had stories to tell of the support they received during their battles with the disease or the stories of family members who had fought. After the walk, those gathered stayed for a block party with games, food and emotional support.

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I went into the event looking at it as another assignment, but left with a profound respect for these women and all they had gone through and the impact that sharing their stories and supporting each other can have on not just their healing process, but on other’s as well.

One of the women’s stories that stuck out to me the most was Mary “Cookie” Pierce. A native of Vicksburg, Pierce now lives in Del Rio, Texas. She attended the walk all the way from Texas along with her brother-in-law, Horace Dixon, the chaplain for the group.

Pierce not only attended; she walked the lap along with everyone else in attendance, an act of strength and perseverance that I did not truly understand until the lap was over. You see, the walk was on a Saturday and just that Wednesday before, Pierce had finished treatment in her own battle against breast cancer. They draped her in a boxer’s robe, put pink boxing gloves on her hands and showed all those in attendance the power of the fight.

She did not have to be there that day, but she made the trip after flying from Texas to Arizona every few weeks for treatment. She was an inspiration to all those who were gathered there — the survivors, the supporters, the widow whose wife had died only two months before and a journalist with little personal experience with the disease.

Pierce showed me the power that sharing your story can have on others who are fighting the disease, who have fought it in the past or who have family members who are or did fight the disease.

On Saturday, Oct. 22, The Vicksburg Post will be Painting it Pink and printing on pink newsprint. The front of the paper will include multiple feature stories written by Post writers about women who have fought the disease.

We hope to raise awareness about the disease through this edition and its stories. The greatest impact of the edition is done through a portion that we need your help with though. As Pierce showed, the act of sharing your story can help you not only heal, but can lend strength to others. That is why we invite members of the community to share their own breast cancer stories with Post readers to be printed in the pink edition.

We are collecting stories from all those impacted by the disease, either directly through your own fight or as a participant in a friend or family members’.

Stories should be no longer than 400 words and should be emailed to Post reporter Brandon O’Connor by end of day on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at

The author should include a photo of himself or herself or the person whose story they are sharing.

Brandon O’Connor is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at