Preaching the Importance of Early Detection

Nancy couldn’t feel her arm, let alone put it down. The lump was the size of an orange. By the time she was diagnosed, she already had stage 2 breast cancer. She’s sure her treatment would have been much less extensive if she had just gone to the doctor a little sooner.

This is why Nancy Waddell is determined to tell her story. Wherever you go in Spartanburg, SC., you’re likely to find a pamphlet or flyer with her phone number on it. She begins each day by loading her car with breast cancer literature and leaving what she can with local businesses. In less than a year, Nancy has reached over 1,000 women and formed relationships with 121 shop owners. However, this was only the beginning for her. “I have the potential,” she says, “to save lives.”

Gibbs Cancer Center agrees. After hearing about her Pink Sunday program, they offered Nancy a grant position helping other women navigate treatment’s terrifying terrain. She started Pink Sunday in order to preach the importance of early detection, and it continues to grow more widespread every year. The most rewarding part, she says, “is finding that one woman who has never had a mammogram and being able to share my story.”

Stories are powerful. They influence what we believe in, how we live, and who we become. They give us identity and purpose. They unify and instruct. It’s important to share our stories. By learning what others have done, we come to understand what we can do. Nancy shows that by simply sharing those stories, everybody has the potential to help save lives.  

Read our stories:

Erin - Getting uninsured women the support they need.

Nancy – Preaching the importance of early detection.

Heather – Helping families focus on recovery.

Dawn – A one-woman powerhouse in the Race Against breast cancer.

Arlene - Meeting great need.

Janice – Helping patients pay it forward.

Nora – Helping patients through education.

Susan - Always aware.