When Linda Parks talks about her breast cancer journey, undoubtedly you will laugh. Not because her diagnosis was funny but her way of handling the news and her road to recovery was fought with prayer and humor.
“Linda brings such joy and love to everything she does for our Affiliate,” say Julie McMahon, director of mission at Komen Columbus, ” She’s a proud and grateful survivor how loves to spread the breast self-awareness message with her own unique flavor. She makes our job fun!”
We are proud to announce that Linda Parks is our May Volunteer of the Month! Read more about this amazing lady and why she devotes her time to volunteering to Komen Columbus. Thank you Linda!
What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
My first encounter with Komen Columbus was in 2008 at a Breast Cancer reception where Rene Syler (former CBS anchor/ Komen National ambassador) was to attend. My husband and I attended our first Komen event.
What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
My favorite part about volunteering for Komen Columbus is divided into two parts; one, the staff at Komen Columbus is amazing to work with and two, the smiles and appreciations that the community shows when you are showing them how much you care through advocacy and education, which is just warming and incredible.
What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
There are so many, where can I begin. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. In 2008 I attended my first Race for the Cure and there should be a disclaimer or warning to bring your own tissues or hanky. The love and support that was shown, not only by the Komen Columbus staff, but the volunteers, entertainers and others is overwhelming. To see strangers standing there cheering you on or to support those who have lost someone to the breast cancer is uplifting. I tried my best not to shed a tear that day but it was no use. I was surprised by greeters at the survivor’s finish line. I looked at my friend Terry Lewis, also a survivor, and she just knew I needed a pail for the tears that I had shed because of the love that was displayed throughout the race. I really became encouraged about what Komen Columbus was doing and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
I began a Candlelight program in the City of Newark, Ohio, to show the survivors that we care also to the ones who lost loved ones to the disease. This event was done through poetry and music, greetings by our local government leaders and stories shared by survivors and co-survivors. Another memorable moment was when I was to present as guest speaker for the Komen Columbus and Key Bank event. I asked the audience to look at the person next to them and tell them that they are looking at a miracle. My goodness, I have never seen such a gasping response from an audience like that before!
Every day no matter what, you will see me wear something pink, whether it’s jewelry and or clothing, which represents the fight for breast cancer. One may ask, how does what she wear help the fight for breast cancer? I’m glad you asked, the questions begin; have you had a mammogram or do you know of someone who has been affected by breast cancer? I am very happy to say that I am a survivor. Because I have been given another chance at life, I am encouraged to share with others. Yes life gives you bumps, but through prayer and a positive outlook helps to ease the journey. I couldn’t have survived breast cancer without God, the love and support from my husband Javon (my Mr. Incredible), daughters, Lexy and Jordan, parents, family and friends.
When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
When I’m not volunteering with Komen Columbus, my time is spent with family and friends. I also like to travel, cook, and think of ways to bring more breast cancer awareness to the community.