HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - It has been 18 years since Elaine Beatty was diagnosed with breast cancer, and for the past few years, she has created stained glass panels to give to other survivors.
"My time with breast cancer was a total surprise," Beatty said of her diagnosis with ductal carcinoma.
She credited her survival to a quick response with a full mastectomy and a routine mammogram.
"Whatever you do, get your mammogram, because not all cancers can be felt," she said.
Beatty and her husband are both a part of the group of artists who put on the annual "Flowers of Hope" exhibit at the Hattiesburg Public Library. This year's exhibit displays 34 eight-by-eight panels of stained glass flowers, which will be given to first year breast cancer survivors partnered with the area's Breast Cancer Awareness Team.
"It's just rewarding to know that what we're doing is doing what I thought it would," exhibit founder Dee Tatum said.
Tatum started the exhibit 12 years ago after reading a book with the same title. The survivors who receive the panels have the chance to meet the artist who created their panel. Beatty said she hoped this art gives other survivors encouragement.
"Hopefully when people look at these, that they know they're not alone, that there is hope," she said. "My life does not revolve around having had breast cancer, and it shouldn't. My life revolves around living and enjoying life to the fullest."
The free exhibit is on display through October 16 in the galleries at the Hattiesburg Library. For more information, contact Tatum at 601-550-4137 or firstname.lastname@example.org