MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Gift of Hope organization is getting ready for their Pink the Park event for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Midlander Bobbie Kerrigan is one of the many survivors who shares her experiences with fighters. But it wasn't always that way. Kerrigan was always a physically active person and would go to the gym, help teach women's self-defense and scuba dive. But there was a time two years ago when that was all going to change.
"I noticed I had a sore spot on the right side of my chest," Kerrigan said. "I thought it was from us going to the gym and exercising. After a couple of days, it didn't go away."
After an examination and a mammogram, it was what showed up in the results that would put Kerrigan through a battle with breast cancer she'd never expect.
"When I saw the mass on the screen, I knew what was going on. I mentally prepared myself for the information I was going to receive," said Kerrigan. "There's so many things I had been involved in and you think what did I do wrong? The thing is you don't do anything wrong. Cancer is not selective on who it picks. It can pick anybody."
After chemotherapy and two years later, she's on the road to healing and making progress. But what's helped her along the way, were local support groups like the Young and the Breastless and non-profits like Gifts of Hope. It pays tribute in their Pink the Park event where survivors like Bobbie give support to those fighting.
"I remember nights I was sitting up after I had my chemo where my hands were on fire, my feet were on fire," said Kerrigan. "Having experienced that myself, you may be at different stages but to know there are people who have been there and give you a hug when you need it, it means the world."
With this month being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it's a time to remember those who lost the battle, to support fighters and honor survivors. Those survivors like Kerrigan, whose journey shows not to be afraid to speak out, because behind every fight, hope still shines.
"The effects you get from the treatment can really wear you down. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm at the end of my tunnel with the light. I'm getting back to a normal lifestyle. Take a notice when there's changes in your body. Do something about it. Be a fighter."
Kerrigan encourages anyone to get checked if you suspect anything unusual because early detection can lead to early treatment.
The Pink the Park event will take place on Oct. 21 at 9:00 a.m. at Grafa Park on Midkiff Drive. There will be music, activities, a walk and a guest speaker, Linda Greene, a breast cancer survivor. For more information, click here.