Survivors celebrated at Paint the Town Pink

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, October 8, 2016
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Pink Ladies

PINK LADIES – Breast cancer survivors and their friends gather on Decatur Square Friday to Paint the Town Pink. The event raises money for Mary’s Gift, a Wise Health Foundation program that provides free mammograms to uninsured and under-insured women. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Despite the cold wind and a wet road, breast cancer survivors and their friends and family painted a crooked pink line down Main Street in Decatur for Paint the Town Pink Friday.

They had to pass over a couple of puddles in the middle of the road, but they got the job done anyway.

“We’ve already been through much worse than trying to paint in a straight line,” survivor Brenda Scott said.

Every year since 2002, the pink line painted down Main Street in October has served as a reminder of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Originally an Avon “Kiss Goodbye to Cancer” program, Decatur was the first town in Texas to participate in a Paint the Town Pink-type event, Main Street Director Frieda Haley said.

“It was just a fun community event to honor survivors,” she explained.

Main Street now partners with Mary’s Gift at Wise Health System to not only raise breast cancer awareness but to raise money for the free mammogram screenings Mary’s Gift provides to low-income, uninsured and under-insured women in Wise County.

All the proceeds from the food, T-shirts and other items sold at Paint the Town Pink go to Mary’s Gift.

“We have a lot of community involvement with this one,” Mary’s Gift representative Michelle Stone said. “The community has been a great, great supporter of this event, no matter the weather.”

Survivors like Scott have braved the elements, rain or shine, every year to meet up with each other at Paint the Town Pink.

“It’s almost like it’s spiritual, because they know where you’ve been and you know where they’ve been,” Scott said. “These are some of the strongest women I know.” Scott, who has been cancer-free for more than 20 years, has another reason to lean on her fellow survivors this year. Her husband passed away two months ago, and this was the first time she attended Paint the Town Pink without him. It was a bittersweet feeling to be back, she said.

Painting that crooked pink line reminded Scott, as it always does, that the journey through life is not always perfect.

“When the line starts, it’s like starting your cancer journey,” she said. “To be able to make it to the end is an amazing thing.”

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