Pink Up: Two-time survivor encourages others to push forward
A reminder to check on your health every month
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - This month’s Pink Up for breast cancer awareness revisits a Hattiesburg survivor who’s reminding people to ‘Think Pink’ and take care of their health all year long.
Regertha Jenkins is a two-time breast cancer survivor.
“I always, when I see somebody, I say, ‘Have you had your mammogram? Have you had your pap smear?’ And Tonya says to me, ‘You don’t know that lady!’ I say, “I don’t got to know her, because, through my testimony and my song, I can save a soul and a life.’ So I’m always ladies, asking ladies, ‘Have you had your mammogram,’” says Jenkins.
Jenkins and her family organize Pink Monday every October to educate and support breast cancer patients and survivors.
“A lot of ladies don’t know nothing about it, they just give up. And I want to give them hope and let them know early detection is the cure, and I want them to feel good about theyself also. That’s what means a lot to me,” says Jenkins.
Recently, Jenkins was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. Now she’s taking chemotherapy again, and her family reminds people that cancers don’t only strike during an awareness month.
“We’re back on another journey again after 31 years. And I say we because you got to have a support system,” says Jenkins’ daughter, Tonya Jordan.
October is full of pink ribbons and reminders about resources. But this February, Jenkins and Jordan are reminding breast cancer patients that it’s important to take care of their physical and mental health year-round.
“I always say check on yourself, check on your family, reach out. Hattiesburg has so many phenomenal mental health resources. Please reach out and get help. Don’t just assume that you’re okay. Because depression is a silent killer. Family members too, it affects us. It’s affecting her physically, but it affects us mentally worrying about her and making sure she’s ok. She’s a fighter,” says Jordan.
“I’m a fighter, I’m gonna survive and I’m gonna get through this. I have some hard days, and I cry and things when you’re not trying to cry, but it helps me to heal, you know, to get it out,” explains Jenkins.
No matter the month, patients and survivors always have a friend in the Pink Monday crew.
Jenkins uses the profits from Pink Monday to have a tab at Hattiesburg Medical Supply. Thanks to the tab, breast cancer patients can get help paying for equipment year-round.
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