MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 24, 2013

Women Who Care gather at fundraiser

Breast cancer survivors, supporters share stories

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Breast cancer survivor Doretha Beasley wore an extra broad smile at the Women Who Care luncheon and fashion show Thursday at Arrowhead Mall.

She had just completed her final cancer treatment that morning.

“I was out there at 8:30 this morning at EASTAR,” said Beasley, who was diagnosed with cancer last January. “I think I’ve had 35 treatments since then.”

Beasley joined other breast cancer patients and survivors who modeled at the eighth annual Breast Cancer Awareness Event. The luncheon, which also featured a silent auction, was a fundraiser for Women Who Care, a community-based organization that seeks to provide outreach, prevention, and education about breast cancer to Muskogee-area women. The organization also serves women who cannot afford to get mammograms.

Those at the luncheon stood and cheered as Beasley modeled her leopard-print shirt and snakeskin print jacket. She raised her arms in victory when it was announced she had completed her final treatment.

“Oh, my God. I felt like I was in a dream,” Beasley said. “I had a lot of sick days. My hair fell out. But I had a lot of support from my husband and daughters.”

Beasley’s husband, Lester Beasley, also beamed with pride. As he gave a spouse’s point of view, Lester Beasley told the audience about the shock he and the family felt.

“After we got over the initial shock, at that point, we just had to accept it,” said Beasley, pastor of Harvest Ministries Church. “We had been married for 40 years.”

Doretha Beasley said she underwent five months of chemotherapy, surgery, then eight weeks of radiation.

Other breast cancer survivors had their ways to tell their stories.

Angela Weaver of Wagoner told her story through an elaborate, winged bra she had made. The bra won the mall’s bra art contest Thursday.

Weaver said she put many symbols in her bra.

“I was diagnosed in 2006, again in 2007 and again last year,” Weaver said.

Weaver said a pink cross in the middle of the bra came from a hat she wore as she was undergoing treatment. An hourglass on one side reflects a feeling of running out of time, she said.

“I have a butterfly for hope,” Weaver said.

Many of the decorated bras were sold in the luncheon’s silent auction.

Dr. Tim Holder received a plaque for approving mammogram orders for women served through Women Who Care.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.