"Pink the Basin" Guests Talk About Surviving Cancer

"Pink the Basin" Guests Talk About Surviving Cancer

Anum Valliani
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It was a sold out event at the seventh annual Pink the Basin. More than 1,000 breast cancer supporters came out sporting their pink to honor survivors in West Texas.

This year, best-selling author, Geralyn Lucas, attended the event to make people laugh as she shared her own breast cancer story with the crowd and she mentioned that every survivor has their own answer to, "What was the moment you became a survivor?"

So NewsWest 9 asked that question to some of the survivors, here were some of their answers.

"On my last chemo, August the 21st," Connie Pullen, said.

"When I made it five years because I knew I was clear," Linda Cave, said.

"Probably the minute I left MD Anderson," Mike "Stubby" Arnold, said.

"When I started chemo because it just changes your life. It opens your life up to so many things and life is just not the same ever again," Alicia Luna, said.

The Pink the Basin luncheon was about raising awareness and helping people get treatment early. For male survivor, Arnold, awareness meant letting people know this doesn't just affect women. In fact, he said men need to get past the word "breast."

"What kind was insignificant. It's just that I had cancer and this is what I was going to deal with. And trust me on this, at 60 years old, going in for a mammogram was not on my bucket list," Arnold said.

And for those who don't have it, "Please do a self evaluation, that's very important. That's how I found mine," Cave said.

Cave is going on six years without cancer. A while ago, she chose to remove her breasts and opted out of reconstruction because she, "realized what was important, my life."

She drove in specifically for the event from a small town outside of Lubbock. She said she comes every year because she feels it's important to stay connected with other survivors and she enjoys talking to and encouraging those who are newly diagnosed patients.

Like Alicia Luna, who has been on the journey with her family when she was just diagnosed with stage 3 cancer during the summer of 2013, she said she already feels the community's support.

"I can't explain it, it's just overwhelming, it really is. And people just embrace you like they've known you all their lives," Luna said.

Luna attended the event with her two daughters Lorena and Francesca, one of which unveiled a message for Luna.

"I haven't told her this but she's the strongest person I know and just nothing bothers her, like she knows she's gonna be okay and because of that attitude. We know she's gonna be okay," Lorena said.

Pink the Basin has already raised more than $100,000 for breast cancer detection and support. But there will be more events throughout October if you'd like to donate.