Valdosta Daily Times

October 7, 2012

The Pink Party: A celebration of breast cancer survivors

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — 306 North was all pink Saturday morning as breast cancer fighters and survivors came in sporting the signature color of breast cancer awareness for the first ever Pink Party in Valdosta.

“This is a pink party,” said host Lawanna Barron “A celebration for breast cancer survivors.”

There were pink balloons, pink flowers, pink lemonade and even pink grits. If it was possible, it was pink!

Barron was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer on Feb. 21. As she was about to go through chemotherapy, she was looking for people who had also been through the struggle.

“I have met so many wonderful sisters, so many wonderful survivors,” said Barron.

According to Barron, the Pink Party is about her finding help, finding strength.

“It’s so I can get some help and we can all help each other,” said Barron.

Stories about Barron circulated and were overheard throughout the party. She was talked about almost as breast cancer myth; however, Barron is no myth and is just as fabulous as you have heard.

When it came time for her to start chemo, she didn’t just shave her head, she threw a party. And when she couldn’t make it to a Pink Party in Atlanta, well, she just threw her own.

“She was just like, I’m going to get my own Pink Party,” said friend and sorority sister Alfie Armstrong.

Armstrong, best friend Cassandra Sampson and Barron were all members of Sigma Gamma Rho at Valdosta State University and together, they brought the Pink Party to Valdosta.

There were newly declared survivors such as Joan Gibson who just finished her last radiation treatment on Thursday.

“I’m a survivor and I just wanted to come,” said Gibson.

Gibson went through four treatments of chemo and 35 rounds of radiation. On Saturday, Gibson truly had much to celebrate.

A survivor of seven years, Flo McLawhorn found joy in looking around and seeing so many fellow survivors.

“It’s a great feeling to see all the others who have been through it all with me,” said McLawhorn. “This is a great sisterhood for all the survivors.”

Aside from survivors and fighters, there were several guests who came sporting pink just to lend support such as a former neighbor of Barron’s, Ruth Council.

“I think it’s wonderful for us to stop hiding this illness,” said Council. “Make people aware.”

Council has great respect for Barron and was honored to be a part of such a special day.

“It’s just wonderful that (Barron) is just able and willing to share,” said Council.

With approximately 2.7 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone, the party honored all and at the end of the day, the power of all things pink had touched the lives of many.