MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2 / Fox 24) – Gifts of Hope held its annual Pink the Park event on Saturday, but it looked a little different this year. From survivors and fighters, to family members of those who lost the battle, everyone impacted by breast cancer came together to celebrate life and to bring hope.
Kristi Serrano has been battling stage four breast cancer for over two years and said she came here to help raise awareness. But days like this are a somber reminder.
” It’s really hard because alot of friends have past,” Serrano said. “So at the same time we’re excited to bring awareness to this, it’s also a bit saddening because for us everyday is a fight. Once October ends the pink goes away the balloons go away but for us it’s everyday. “
Despite the hardships Serrano faces amid her on-going fight, she said it’s important for her to continue educating other women on early detection.
” I hope to bring more awareness to metastatic breast cancer to let people know can get this at any stage,” Serrano said. ” You can go automatically to the doctor, assuming that you know that you’re okay and you’re not, you know they may have missed something in mammograms, because mammograms don’t catch everything.”
Among those in the crows was Annie Jackson, she has been cancer free for over a year. Jackson said she attended Pink the Park to give hope to others.
“Any time it’s anything to do with this I’d love to speak because I want to be able to help somebody else,” Jackson said.” And to tell them what I have been through and going through.”
Even though this year’s event looks different due to COVID-19, Gifts of Hope was committed to continuing its yearly tradition, no matter the circumstances.
COVID crashed out party but we still wanted to have fun anyway,” said Fatima Castillo, Executive Director of Gifts of Hope. ” So this year we decided to have a car parade.”
As for Serrano, she’s grateful she got to share this experience with fighters like her.
“You hide alot of different stuff, you hide the fatigue, you hide the loneliness, you hide the guilt of not being able to go out and do things,” Serrano said. ” So being around other survivors and other fighters, it makes you feel that you’re not alone.”
For more information on how Gifts of Hope can help you or a loved one who’s battling cancer, visit their website.