Valdosta Daily Times

October 14, 2013

Multiple health issues haven’t broken Angela King’s spirit

Kristin Finney
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA —  Battling cancer is exhausting and overwhelming. Battling cancer, lung disease and also losing the ability to walk for almost a year ... that is unimaginable. However, that is exactly what happened to Angela Tooley King.

In July 2008, King was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung disease which makes it difficult for her to breathe. In August 2008, King was diagnosed with early stage non-invasive breast cancer. In October 2008, King was told that she had degenerative disc disease, leaving her unable to walk for nearly a year.

All of these tragedies in less than six months could have broken King’s spirit, but thanks to a lot of support and personal strength, King never gave up.

“I think that is what a lot of people do when they find out news like this. They give up and then end up dying. I didn’t want to do that. I figured I could either fight or give up. Of course I’m not going to give up. I’m just going to fight,” said King.

Luckily, King’s cancer was caught in the early stages. One month after being diagnosed, she underwent a lumpectomy to remove the cancer from her breasts and also had 17 lymph nodes removed. She then had 35 rounds of radiation and also had to take a chemotherapy pill. The powerful treatment in the early stages allowed King to be officially in remission in March 2009.

King was the first in her immediate family to have cancer, which made the battle that much harder. Her husband, two children and parents helped take care of her and keep her spirits up. She also made sure to surround herself only with people who spoke positively.

“All you hear when something like this happens is ‘you’re going to die.’ I wasn’t going to go without seeing my kids grow up. I made sure to keep a small circle and never be around people who were talking negative when I was trying to be positive,” said King.

Having cancer, COPD and a disc disease taught King several lessons in life. She said, “The biggest lesson I learned is to live life to the fullest. I also learned to never say that something wont happen to you. People always live their life saying ‘It’ll never happen to me.’ Well I am proof that it can happen to you.”

Aside from clinging to her family and friends, King always clung to God for her strength. “My motto in life is ‘With God, I can survive.’ I thank God for the good, strong support that I received from everyone.”

“You can’t keep it inside. You have to have support. I had the support of my family, friends, church family and the Best Buddies members. You have to make sure to have someone there for you.”

King continued to praise her church family and also the Best Buddies organizations for all that they did while she was sick. “They came to the house when I was sick and brought food and made sure that the kids were fed. It was amazing.”

“The Best Buddies group is so great. They make sure that you have someone to talk to. You can always go to them. They only meet once a month, but they are always there for you. They are like family,” said King.

For nearly 25 years, King was a cosmetologist, working for several local hair salons and eventually opening her own salon, King of Kings. Her health issues and compromised immune system have made her unable to work.

Despite being in remission from her cancer, King still has to receive treatments for her COPD. Twice a month she receives a $1,500 shot. She still struggles with shortness of breath and recently underwent surgery on her back as well.

One of the biggest forces keeping King strong throughout her continuing health battles is her grandson, Travis King III.

“I live for him. I have to live to help raise my grandbaby right.”

Angela is married to Travis King Sr. They have one son, Travis King Jr. and one daughter, LaTravia King. She is the daughter of Bishop John Tooley and Evangelist Betty Tooley. She also has four siblings, two brothers and two sisters, that have stood by her throughout her battle.

“I will forever love my sisters and brothers,” said King, an active member of the Voice of Victory Worship Center.

King will be hosting a Pink Party for breast cancer survivors from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Caribbean Delight on W. Hill Ave. For more information, call (229) 269-3933 or (229) 232-7793.