October is breast cancer awareness month and today hundreds of people gathered in Roanoke to join the fight and make a difference.
The annual "positively pink parade and party" was at Valley View Mall in Roanoke. It started as just a small walk, but has now grown into much more.
All money raised from the event goes to "Every Woman's Life" in the Roanoke Valley. It's an organization that provides free mammogram and cervical screenings to low income, uninsured and underinsured women right here in the Roanoke Valley.
It's been proven that screenings and early detection greatly improves the survival rates of cancer victims.
Survival was the theme of the day as hundreds of men and women came out dressed head to toe in their best pink attire.
Leading the way with banner in hand was Louise Dudley, a seven year survivor of an aggressive form of breast cancer.
She's been through it all, the good and the bad, but today she is celebrating.
"It feels marvelous to be able to celebrate," Dudley said.
Now that her battle is over -she is helping others who are still battling,hoping to inspire other women in joining their fight.
She says wearing pink by the masses is a way of uniting what she refers to as family.
"It's a sisterhood and once you have gone through this journey you have to share your strength in order to lend a helping hand to other women to let them know that they are going to make it, they are going to survive this.," Dudley said.
Several women of new covenant living church in Roanoke have several survivors to celebrate. But as they put on their pink, they used the day to celebrate the life of a sister who lost her battle only days ago.
Wearing her name across their chest they honored her by giving back to the cause she desperately fought for.
Member Sheila Herron says it is something their friend Lisa would have wanted.
"We truly believe every gift from God is simple," Herron said. "You give back to your community. we believe it is a celebration of life whether or not they have succumb or are still alive. "We celebrate life."
It's a hope that Dudley and hundreds of other survivors continue to fight for - wearing pink, and a smile the entire way.
To find out more information about affordable health screenings visit Every Woman's Life.
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