RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) -Despite the pandemic putting a damper on the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, several groups got together and still walked three miles in their own neighborhoods.
Like many women, Bryan County NAACP president Johnnie Quiller is a wife, mom, daughter, friend and so much more.
However, in August of last year, her life changed when she was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer.
Quiller said she kept getting a notification on her phone to get her annual mammogram and she kept putting it off.
Finally, she went in and that’s when her doctor noticed something different, what he described as architectural distortion; which would require her to have surgery months later in November.
She had to have five lymph nodes removed along with a partial mastectomy.
Quiller had to go through 20 rounds of radiation and every day she had to go in and get her treatment, an experience she said was life-changing.
“That to me probably was the most touching part of my whole treatment was going in and looking at the various people in various stages of cancer," Quiller said. "Dealing with different types of cancer, just listening to the sounds of pain in the waiting room, and here I am I’m up and I’m walking and I’m able to drive myself.”
Quiller along with others, like Anita Parham who was diagnosed in 2012 and is now an eight-year two-time breast cancer survivor said it’s important to bring awareness to breast cancer because it could save someone else’s life.
Both are thankful they caught it early before it was too late.
“Life more abundantly and that I can share this with someone and that I’m here so I can go out and share the word of the good news of the Lord with someone," Parham said. "Letting them know that don’t take your life for granted. Breast cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence, please go and get yourself checked.”
“We’re just blessed to be here," Quiller said. “This was just kind of a thought that God gave me, hey let’s just walk and celebrate breast cancer,” she said. "Celebrate those that have been recently diagnosed, celebrate those that are survivors and those that have been taken by breast cancer.”
Both Quiller and Parham are encouraging people to get regular mammograms and to also do self-exams, because early detection is critical.