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Cancer survivor shares her inspiring story

It’s a trip no one wants to take. The journey of a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient is often fraught with uncertainty, anxiety and fear.

Women from across the community who had made that journey or seen loved ones travel that hard path came together at L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital Friday morning to celebrate life and to remember and honor others who fought the good fight.

It was a sea of pink inside the hospital’s cafeteria as Healthy Woman sponsor Linda Hummel welcomed those in attendance and introduced the speaker for the day, Bettye Daniels.

Daniels, a familiar face to many who shopped at the former Burke’s Outlet location in Greenville, said her cancer diagnosis in mid-2016 was like a bolt of the blue—completely unexpected.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram. I had absolutely no symptoms. I was going to work every day and being an active mother and grandmother,” Daniels explained, adding,“Let me say mammograms do work; they save lives. If I had skipped my mammogram last year, I don’t think I would be here today.”

Initially Daniels admits she shed a lot of tears and found herself contemplating funeral arrangements. She also had to face her fears about the diagnostic tools that would be used for her treatment.

“Listen, I have always loved going to fairs and places like Six Flags. But I don’t do rides—any kind of ride.”

The confinement she encountered during her PET scan was nothing short of terrifying for Daniels. Today, however, she is able to talk about her phobias with a smile.

“This was all so new to me and I am so claustrophobic . . . I just knew I’d have to go to the bathroom while I was in there, and the thing would short circuit and electrocute me,” she explained.

She made it unscathed through the scan, and MRIs, and chemo. On October 19, 2016, Daniels got to ring the bell at the cancer center.

“I cried a lot again—this time because I was a chemo grad,” Daniels said.

Two months later, on December 9, she learned that no additional cancer had been discovered during her surgery. Bettye Daniels was officially a cancer survivor.

“This December will be one year for me. Some of you out there have been survivors for much longer—20 years or more—and that inspires me.”

Daniels decided to write a book about her personal cancer journey, “Pink Rain.”

“My hope is that by sharing my story, I can help other people on this journey. I am so thankful for all those who helped me along the way.”

The cancer survivor encouraged her listeners to live each day choosing joy and love and to always exercise an attitude of gratitude.

“I can truthfully say I am a braver and happier person today than I was before my diagnosis. I realize what is really important in life. I fought that giant—and I won. I thank God every day,” said Daniels.

Following a pink balloon release on the lawn next to the hospital, attendees returned to the cafeteria to enjoy refreshments, collect their goody bags and to purchase copies of Daniels’ book signed by the author.

The brunch and balloon release are an annual event at the hospital, held in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.