How a church is supporting cancer survivors and fighters this month


RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) – As October begins Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a church in Raleigh County wanted to share stories of strength and raise awareness among those affected by cancer.

When Reva Bowman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, she said only one thing worried her when she heard the news.

“I thought, I’m going to die, of cancer, I’m going to die,” said Bowman, a nurse at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital.

Bowman’s outlook was not positive, but 24 years later, here it is. For Bowman, she said she didn’t know why she was still there today. What she knows is that she wouldn’t be here without the support of those around her and her faith.

Her faith is precisely the reason she spoke at the Nehemiah Baptist Church in Cool Ridge. The church held a celebration service to give survivors the chance to tell their stories and to raise awareness and support those who still struggle.

As Bowman recalls her battle with cancer, she said she has too much to do to give up, and she wants anyone who fights a similar battle to know if she can do it, so can they.

“We are going to have many hills that we are going to climb in this world, and we are going to have many valleys, but we have to overcome the fact that we have to have our strength and our will and there has to be a purpose in life and honestly I didn’t give up, ”Bowman said.

Bowman not only beat cancer, but COVID-19 as well. She wasn’t the only one fighting for their health during the pandemic.

Pamela Lusk-Lilly was diagnosed with breast cancer and cervical cancer early in the pandemic, which she almost completely got rid of.

She said she felt called to share her story of strength.

“I feel like there are a lot of people going through the same thing, and they struggle as much as we do, but with everyone, because God tells us to love each other and help each other, that’s what he wants us to do and if I can just help someone along the way, it’s worth it, ”Lusk-Lilly said.

She was so grateful that she was able to do it in front of the same people who had helped her along the way.

“You know, when you get a diagnosis all you can do is pray to your family and friends, family in your church, it just means the world to you because you need it most in your prime times. harder, you need it most, ”said Lusk-Lily.

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