Cancer survivors honored at Think Pink event
In celebration of her being 28 years cancer free, a Sequoyah Indians basketball player escorts Cherokee Nation citizen Aletha Arkie of Locust Grove, Okla., onto the court during the fifth annual Think Pink Game on Feb. 12 in Tahlequah. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
United Keetoowah Band citizen Georgia Reese Hogner, right, waits for the next number to be called out while playing bingo at the fifth annual Think Pink Game reception on Feb. 12 at Sequoyah Schools in Tahlequah, Okla. Reese Hogner is a 23-year cancer survivor. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Youlanda Cain, left, of Stilwell and Neoma Flynn, right, of Sallisaw pour punch during the Think Pink Game reception at a Sequoyah Schools basketball game on Feb. 12 in Tahlequah, Okla. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cancer survivors from all over the Cherokee Nation gather on Feb. 12 for the Sequoyah School’s Think Pink Game to honor cancer survivors. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On Feb. 12, more than 35 female cancer survivors with nearly 250 combined years of survivorship gathered at Sequoyah Schools’ The Place Where They Play to be honored during the fifth annual Think Pink basketball game.
The event allows cancer survivors to gather and be honored after the Sequoyah girls games for their survivorship.
“They honor them on the floor at the end of the girls game,” Barbara Neal, Cherokee Nation Cancer Programs health educator, said. “In the meantime, we have a little reception and visit with our breast cancer survivors. There are several ladies that come every year. We have a lot of new faces each year, too. And it’s just a good time to get together, get to visit, renew acquaintances and just get to sit down and talk to each other.”
CN citizen Ruby Wells, an 11-year breast cancer survivor from Welling, said she’s attended Think Pink event at Sequoyah every year.
“I was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in 2001. I had no idea I had cancer. I had found it, located the lump myself,” Wells said.
She said she found the lump about six months after having a check-up.
“But through self-education and self-breast exam, I found it myself. And at that time I immediately had surgery. The biopsy was done and I was at a Stage 4. If I hadn’t located the mass, I probably would not be here today,” Wells said.
United Keetoowah Band citizen Georgia Reese Hogner of Briggs is a breast cancer survivor of 23 years. She was diagnosed in 1989 and had a mastectomy in 1990. She said she likes to attend the event because of the fellowship she has with fellow cancer survivors.
“You know, just to draw encouragement from each other,” she said. “I’m thankful we have this. It helps us to realize we’re not alone. We’re not going through this alone. There’s other people that are actually worse off than we are. Here I am 23 years being well. I guess I’m considered cured now though and that’s good.”
Betty Mouse, also a UKB citizen and 23-year cancer survivor, said she’s had several cancer recurrences in different parts of her body but is grateful to be alive and attend the Think Pink event.
“It helps to realize that there are others who have gone through or are going through the same thing that I have and they are still here and very much active,” she said.
Mouse suggested to others who are going through cancer or have a family member fighting the disease is to “keep hoping, keep the faith” and “a lot of prayer.”
Neal said she educates CN citizens on breast and cervical cancers and that early detection is key to winning the battle.
“It is my pleasure to be able to go out and visit with ladies that are getting mammograms. And I do one-on-one education with ladies that get their mammogram. I’m able to sit down and visit with them and tell them the importance of getting a mammogram,” she said. “I also set up health fairs. I get to go out and visit with people in the 14 counties and we just talk about the importance of mammograms, checking for breast cancer and also cervical cancer.”
The next event for breast cancer survivors is the 14th annual Breast Cancer Survivor Dinner set for Oct. 12.
For more information, call Neal at 918-453-5138.
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ.¬ – ᎾᎿ ᎧᎦᎵ ᏔᎳᏚᏏᏁ, ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎾᏃ ᏦᏍᎪᎯᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᎵᏁᎯᏛ ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᏔᎵᏧᏈ ᎯᎦᏍᎪᎯ ᏗᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎢᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎴᏒ ᎤᎾᏓᏟᏌᏅ ᏏᏉᏲ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ’
ᎯᎠ ᏣᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏛ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎴᏒ ᎤᎾᏓᏟᏐᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᎵᎮᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏃᏅ ᏏᏉᏲ ᎠᏁᎯ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎴᏒᎢ.
“ᏚᎾᎵᎮᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᎿᏂ ᏍᏆᏞᏍᏗ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏃᏅ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ,” ᎤᏛᏅ Barbara Neal, ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏓᏱᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎥᏰᎸ ᏗᎾᏕᏲᎲᏍᎦ. “ ᏃᏊᏃ, ᎦᏲᏟ ᏚᏂᏬᏂᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏟᏃᎮᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎴᏒᎢ. ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎾᏂᎠ ᎠᏂᎷᎪ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏴᎯᏒ. ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏗᏤ ᏚᎾᎧᏙ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏴᎯᏒ, ᎾᏍᏊ. ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓᏊ ᎡᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏐ, ᏗᏟᏃᎮᏟᏓᏍᏗ, ᏗᏤᎲᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᏙᎵᎦ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎵᏍᏛᏡᏗ ᏗᏓᏩᏛᎯᏓᏍᏗᎢ.”
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ Ruby Wells, ᏌᏚ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᏗᎦᏅᏗ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎤᎦᏛᎴᏒ ᎾᎿ Welling ᎡᎭ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎡᏙᎰ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᎩᎦᎨ ᎤᏍᎪᎸᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏏᏉᏲᎢ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏴᎯᏒᎢ.
“ᎥᎩᏃᎯᏎᎸ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎠᏇᎲ ᏅᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏫᏄᏍᏗ ᎥᏉᏎᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏌᏊ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ. Ꮭ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏯᏆᏅᏖ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎠᏇᎲᎢ. ᎠᎩᏩᏛᎲ, ᎤᏓᏟᏌᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏥᏰᎸᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Wells.
ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎤᏩᏛᎮ ᎤᏓᏟᏌᎲ ᎠᏰᎸ ᏑᏓᎵ ᏳᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎣᏂ ᎦᎾᎦᏘ ᎠᏥᎪᎵᏰᏓ.
“ᎠᏎᏃ ᎤᏕᎶᏆᎥ ᎨᏒ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎤᏓᎪᎵᏰᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏩᏌ ᏧᎪᎵᏰᏗ ᏗᎦᏅᏗ, ᎠᏮᏌ ᎠᎩᏩᏛᎲᎢ. ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏄᏟᏍᏛ ᎬᎩᏰᏝᎸ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎪᎵᏰ ᏅᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒᎢ. ᎢᏳᏃ ᎾᎩᏩᏛᏓ ᏱᎨᏎ, Ꮭ ᎠᏎ ᏱᎦᎨᏙᎮ ᎠᎯ ᎢᎦ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Wells.
ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎨᎳ Georgia Reese Hogner Briggs ᎡᎯ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎤᏓᎵᏁᎯᏕᎸ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏦᎢ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ. ᎠᏥᏩᏛᎡᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏁᎵᏍᎪᏐᏁᎳ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ. ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎸᏉᏓ ᎤᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏓᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᏓᏟᏃᎮᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎴᏒ ᎤᎾᏓᎵᏁᎯᏕᎸ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ.
“ᏣᏅᏔᏛ, ᏗᏓᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎴᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ ᎦᎵᎡᎵᎪ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎢᎩᎲ ᏂᏓᏛᏁᎲᎢ. ᎣᎩᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎣᏣᏕᎶᏍᎪ ᎣᎬᏌ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎠᏒᎭ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᎢᎨᏐ ᏐᎢ ᎩᎶ ᎤᎪᏙ ᎤᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸᏅ ᎢᎨᏐ ᎣᏩᏌᏃ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎠᎭᏂ ᎨᏙᎭ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏦᎢ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏙᎯᎢ. ᎨᎵᎠ ᎠᏆᎦᏎᏍᏛ ᎢᎩᏅᏩᏅ ᏃᏊ ᎠᎴ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎣᏍᏓ.”
Betty Mouse, ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎨᎳ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏦᎢ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᎾᏍᏊ ᏙᎯ ᏂᎨᏐ ᎤᏓᎵᏁᎯᏕᎸ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏗ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᏂᏚᏍᏛ ᎠᏰᎸᎢ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᎬᏃᏓ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎡᏙᎲᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᎩᎦᎨ ᎤᏍᎪᎸ ᏓᎾᏓᏟᏌᏂᏙᎲᎢ.
“ᎣᎩᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎣᏣᏕᎶᎰᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎴᏒ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ Ꮟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎴᏏᏓ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎠᏴ ᎠᎩᎦᏛᎴᏒ ᎠᏂᏃ ᎠᏁᏙ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏅᏃᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Mouse ᎧᏁᎢᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎤᎾᏛᎪᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᎴᏏᏗᏒ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎨᎶ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎥᏳᎩ ᏳᏕᏁᎵ “ᏙᎯᏳ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎢᏨᏎᏍᏗ, ᎢᏥᎮᏍᏗ ᎪᎯᏳᏗ” ᎠᎴ “ᎤᎪᏓ ᎠᏓᏙᎵᏍᏗ.”
Neal ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏕᎨᏲᎲᏍᎪ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᏗᏂᏂᏅᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏐᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏓᏱᏍᎩ ᏂᏓᎬᏩᏓᎵᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏳᏂᏩᏛᎯ ᎠᎯᏗᎨ ᎨᏐ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏛᏁᏗ ᎤᏂᏅᏬᏗ ᎢᏗᏢ.
“ᎣᏍᏗᏃ ᎠᎩᏱᎸᏐ ᎩᎬ ᎠᎴ ᏕᏥᏩᏛᎯᏙᎲ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎨᏥᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬ ᏧᏂᏅᏗ ᎺᎼᎨᎻ. ᎠᎴ ᏌᏊᎭ ᎦᏥᏃᎯᏎᎰ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᏗᎨᎦᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ. ᎣᏣᏅᏍᎪ ᏙᏣᏟᏃᎮᏍᎪ ᎦᏥᏃᎯᏎᎰ ᏄᏍᏆᏂᎪᏛ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎺᎼᎨᎻ. ᎡᎵᏊ ᎬᏩᎵᏍᏛᏡᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏓᎦᏲᎦᏟᏃᎮᏓ ᎦᎦᏥᏃᎯᏎᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᎨᏗᏴ ᎺᎼᎨᎻ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎤᎾᏓᏟᏐᏗ ᎥᏰᎸ ᏄᏛᎾᎶᎬ ᎤᎬᏩᏟ ᏓᎾᏓᏟᏏᏍᎪ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏬᎵᏗ ᎡᏓᏍᏗᎢ. ᏕᏥᏩᏛᎯᏙᎰ ᎾᎿ ᏂᎦᏚ ᏗᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏥᏃᎮᏍᎪ ᏄᎵᏍᎨᏗᏴ ᎾᎿ ᎺᎼᎨᎻ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ, ᎠᎴ ᏭᏩᎪᏛ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎨᏥᎪᎵᏰᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᏂᏓᎬᏩᏓᎵᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.”
ᏐᎢᏃ ᎤᏍᏆᎵᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏓᏰᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᎵᏁᎯᏛ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏚᏏᏁ ᏑᎶᏘᏴᏓ ᎢᏳᏓᎵ ᎨᏒ ᏛᎾᎵᏍᏓᏴᎾ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏂᏃᏗ ᏔᎳᏚᏏᏁ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏓ. ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ, ᏍᏓᏟᏃᎮᏓ Neal at 918-453-5138.