Oct. 31—VALDOSTA — Unity Park was an unusually bright spot during a dreary weekend, thanks to South Georgia cancer survivors adorning the park in pink.
The King of King Breast Cancer Foundation was responsible for Unity's brief makeover in the form of the "Pink It Out for a Cure Day" gala honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Angela Tooley-King, KKBCF founder, has survived breast cancer twice, having been diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2008 and Stage 1A harmonic breast cancer in 2018. She is now cancer free.
She said in an interview with The Valdosta Daily Times that her family, friends, church and South Georgia Medical Center's Pearlman Comprehensive Cancer Center were "her rock" during those times in her life and inspired her to help and elevate other survivors through their journeys, leading to the creation of the KKBCF and annual Pink Outs in 2012.
Attorney Karla Walker delivered remarks during the event, praising King's dedication proving a "great example of tenacity and proof God can do anything but fail."
"This month and months to come, we celebrate the lives of many courageous and strong women and men. Yes, men are diagnosed with breast cancer as well. They have come through and celebrate together as both sexes have lived to tell their story," she said.
Mayor Scott James Matheson delivered a proclamation christening Oct. 29 as "King of King Breast Cancer Foundation Pink It Out for a Cure Day" and asked all Valdosta residents to join him in "support of this monumental celebration and encourage women to talk to their health care providers about regular clinical breast examinations, getting regular mammograms and practicing monthly breast self-examination." Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Miller-Cody and Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter were also in attendance, with Miller-Cody reaffirming her and the mayor's support and love for survivors and Slaughter sharing his personal interest in the event in a statement to The Valdosta Daily Times.
"As you know, I lost my wife in July. I lost her due to cancer; it wasn't breast cancer but cancer affects a lot of people and affects families very deeply. It's not just the individual that's afflicted with the terrible disease but it reaches all the way through the family itself and touches everybody. So, it's important for folks to come out and support these types of efforts and be able to openly raise some funds so the King of Kings Foundation can continue to do good work in this community," he said.
Entertainment in the form of dance ministry included P.O.A. from Jacksonville, Florida, as well as other live performances. The event included Unity Park staples such as food trucks, kids zone, 360 photo booth, as well as hundreds of dollars in giveaways, and concluded with a survivor walk and balloon release.