HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - For Celeste Brown, the mission is simple and the reason is personal.
“You have your superwoman, your super girls," said Brown as she holds small pillows with various fabrics.
They’re called port pillows, each one handmade, to provide a little comfort for women battling breast cancer, which Brown, from Hattiesburg, found herself on the front lines of. It was during that battle when Brown says she fully understood the importance of support.
“I had so many people that would give me a little happys and care packages and give me things that I didn’t know that I needed until I needed it” said Brown.
Her need now is to give back, a mission that recently turned into a bigger call to action through her newly formed non-profit The Pink Lady, dedicated to supporting women diagnosed with breast cancer and serving as a resource.
“It’s really sustained through blood sweat and tears,” said Brown.
Relying solely on donations at this point, Brown puts together care packages and hosts what she calls ‘port parties,’ stuffing and stitching each little pillow with personal touches.
“So they’re really simple, so they just kind of go on the seat belt. It’s a little Velcro and you put it on your seat belt and it’s just a little pillow and it cushions your port,” said Brown.
Handing out port pillows and care packages is just a start. Brown takes her message of self exams and awareness to young girls, to start the conversation of breast cancer earlier.
"Look at yourself, know what you look like, so that way when something changes, you know this is different," said Brown.
Too young at the time for a mammogram and no family history of breast cancer, is was a self exam that led Brown to talk to her doctor.
"Had I not been doing the self exam, being a triple negative, that's a very aggressive cancer, and so I could've lost my life, had it not been doing self exams," said Brown.
Using her own journey as an example, Brown hopes her organization can be a personal touch of comfort, whether through social gatherings or something as simple as a pillow.
"It's just a small token but sometimes those are the things that would mean a lot when you're going through a whole lot," said Brown.