HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — With the COVID-19 pandemic canceling in-person events and celebrations, Breast Cancer Awareness of Cumberland Valley still wanted to honor breast cancer survivors while keeping everyone safe.
BCACV hosted a car parade at Hagerstown Community College to honor breast cancer survivors on the day that would have been their annual Step N’ Stride walk.
Vickie Horst is a seven-year breast cancer survivor. Her daughter, Stacy Horst, is the Executive Director of Breast Cancer Awareness of Cumberland Valley.
“I think it’s wonderful because even though we are going through this time, this pandemic and we are separated, it’s nice to know that you have the support that’s vital to, to people that are going through this and that have been through it, to show unity amongst us, and to bring comfort and support.”
Sally C. is a four-year breast cancer survivor who was joined by her family at the car parade.
“Cancer is life-changing… Doesn’t matter what form of cancer you have, it’s life-changing. Having the support of my family, my loved ones, having the support of this organization has been just absolutely amazing. My pink sisters, the bond that I have with the pink sisters is just none like you’ll ever… You’ll ever experience.”
The car parade was an emotional but exciting experience for survivors and supporters alike. Kristen Pickelsimer drove nearly two hours to celebrate with other survivors after being diagnosed in March. She was deemed cancer-free in August and was unsure if she would be able to celebrate the milestone due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to celebrate this year and I’m just really, really, really, really excited that they put this together. I’m from glen burnie, so I made the drive here just to be here for this. It’s happy tears. It’s really emotional to me. This is like, this just makes, makes us feel so much better, like we have that support.”
The parade was a bittersweet experience for Vaun Miles-Swain who will be celebrating two years of being cancer-free in November.
“It’s sad to ride down here and see all of the ‘in memory’s’ and ‘in memory of.’ you know, I have two aunts who have passed away from cancer and it’s just, it’s very sad to know that right now everything that we have that they didn’t have back then, that they could have had a chance to be able to be like all the other survivors.”
Organizers stated that they still wanted to be able to provide an event where survivors could connect with each other because that support is so important when they’re battling breast cancer.
For more information on Breast Cancer Awareness of Cumberland Valley, head to their website.