ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke woman is counting her blessings a week after breast cancer surgery and a huge show of support from her community.
Denise Ellis hasn’t been going outside a whole lot during the coronavirus outbreak, but when she did the day before her double mastectomy last week, she was surprised to see signs of support all over her front yard.
“It was really shocking and I thought that was all that there was,” Ellis said.
That wasn't all though. Dozens of friends from church and her daughter's softball team came together for not one, but two good luck parades.
“If something happened, she's always there to do anything for anybody,” said Carrie Russell, who organized one of the parades. “It was just really touching and it was hard cause you just want to give her a hug and you can't give her a hug.”
Russell encouraged people to make signs or decorate the car – anything to make their friend smile as she began her fight against breast cancer.
The difficult journey for Ellis was further complicated by the coronavirus, as she was forced to stay in the hospital by herself.
“This definitely lifted my spirits in anticipation of that surgery and definitely made me feel loved,” Ellis said.
Each honk that echoed through her neighborhood served as a reminder that being physically on your own doesn't mean you're alone.
“I'm really blessed. God is really watching out for me and taking care of me on this journey and this was just another way that people were able to show me that love and support,” Ellis said.
Ellis just found out she caught her cancer early at stage one. Her doctors are still working to come up with her treatment plan moving forward.
Ellis said she can never thank her friends and family enough for all their love and support.