Survivors honored during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Published 1:56 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023

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It was an emotional morning of commemoration. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Watch D.O.G.S club of King’s Fork High School partnered with the Suffolk Police Department for their 5th annual Breast Cancer Survivor Ceremony on Friday, Oct. 20. Students and attendees came together to honor six surviving women with participating students giving gifts of appreciation to three attending women of the ceremony.

Along with a moment of silence for those who transitioned following their battle with the disease and a poem presented by student Marcus Delk, participating KFHS students presented tokens of appreciation to the three attending survivors: Sharry Allen, Belinda Williams and Marilyn Tucker. Williams marked 10 years as a survivor while Allen marked six years. Tucker is still going through chemotherapy while noting that she is “surviving it” to much applause. KFHS History Teacher Shameka Council emotionally commended the women for their perseverance to keep moving forward.

“Seeing you all with your strength makes us not want to complain. Because there’s days that you all don’t feel like getting up, but you get up. And you all carry it so well, so I just want to say thank you for being an inspiration to us in so many ways,” said Council to the three women.

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Following a moving prayer by KFHS Assistant Principal Dr. Tonya Spruill closing the ceremony, Council talked about what inspired her to put together the program.

“I like to give and sometimes you have women that feel like they are alone, and I always like to give them something to let them know that although we are in a school, that the school is thinking about them,” Council said. “A lot of the women that actually come here for breast cancer awareness, some of them have had children that graduated from here, some of them work at SPS and some of them are residents of Suffolk. So I want them to know that we are thinking about you during this time, not just during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but the other 11 months out of the year as well.”

On what she hopes both the attendees and students would take away from the ceremony, Council expressed wanting them to be “aware” of breast cancer.

“To recognize that sickness… when you see a person, you [do not] ever know what they’re going through, because you don’t wear the breast cancer marks on the outside. It’s in the inside. And I always like kids to actually see that it’s good to share with everybody. It’s good to be a pillar in the community, to give back.”

Council noted how some of her students expressed losing a loved one to breast cancer. Reflecting on a student telling her that she lost her mom to breast cancer before the ceremony, Council gave her a bracelet, which resulted in her whole class receiving bracelets as well.

“Just listening to her and she said ‘you couldn’t tell my mom had breast cancer’ …You never know who you’re going to impact with something so small. And I just love putting a smile on people’s faces,” said Council.