Breast cancer survivors have heartwarming reunion in Gulfport

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - There was an emotional reunion for breast cancer survivors at the Isaiah Fredericks Community Center in Gulfport.

Nearly 50 breast cancer survivors and supporters gathered Friday for the Advocates for Breast Cancer Awareness. The group was first brought together in 2013 by a woman who needed support just as much as those she wanted to help.

It was the kind of brunch that not only feeds the body, but also feeds the soul. Breast cancer survivor Rutha Evans founded Advocates for Breast Cancer Awareness after a double mastectomy in 2010.

“From 2010 to 2013, I was in a fog,” said Evans. “I didn’t have enough information about what I was doing.”

And then, inspiration and emotion came from an unexpected place., when she saw material promoting breast cancer awareness in a post office.

“At that moment, I felt better,” she said. “Because, I said, ‘They’re talking about me.’ "

She decided to form a support group for herself and for others going through the same thing.

“We enlighten, we entertain, we educate,” she said.

A lesson echoed by survivor Retha Henderson.

“One of the things I tell people all the time: ‘Get your mammogram,’ " she said. “That’s how I found mine.”

And now she wears her pride well.

“This is what a survivor looks like,” said Henderson.

The group has been a great support for her.

“It’s good to be around other people who have gone through the same thing that you’ve gone through,” Henderson added.

Breast cancer survivor Glenda Collins has been involved since the day the group was founded

“It has helped me in the sense that I meet people each time that I have not known before,” said Collins. “I see some people that have been here many years before, which is encouraging. It lets you know that it is a good cause.”

The program this year was called “Caring for Loved Ones: How do We Measure Up.”

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