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Survivor group offers support and more

by Minden Press-Herald

The Anna Pink Ribbon Support Group has been on the move. This month the group held their Christmas dinner at Geaux Fresh and went to Natchitoches to view part of the Holiday Trail of Lights and are headed to Meadowview and Town and Country Health and Rehab centers to donate toiletries. 

“About 25 of us went to Natchitoches to see the lights and we stopped and ate then we went back to Shreveport. We also did a Thanksgiving dinner which was overwhelming. We fed over 150 people the community with Anna Pink Ribbon and other community members,” president Angie Hadnot said. 

The group serves as a support for women who have had breast cancer and their supporters. 

“People say this is the happiest group they’ve ever been in. They’ve never seen a group of ladies so loving,” Hadnot said. 

Hadnot and her daughter Deborah Cooksey work together to provide activities and education for the members of the group. The meetings have been host to doctors and nurse practitioners to speak on topics such as breast health, anxiety and other issues that come with being diagnosed with breast cancer.

This was the fourth year for the Pink Pearl Tea which benefits the group’s foundation. The event brought out over $400 people. The Anna Pink Ribbon Foundation provides financial assistance to people being treated for breast cancer. 

“We can help people who are going through the storm but we have an application they must fill out that shows they are going through chemo or radiation,” Cooksey said. 

Cooksey also owns Pink Pratique boutique and medical supply store. The store offers supplies for women who are going through or have had breast cancer related surgery. The store has helped over 60 ladies with donated medical supplies. 

There are about 40 members in the group with supporters and survivors.

“We are family now. We call ourselves sisters for life. We hate to say it, but the group is steadily growing because cancer is diagnosed so much in this area,” Hadnot said. 

Some members travel from as far as Benton, Gibsland and Heflin to participate. 

“It’s a good feeling to help people. My life has changed since I went through this thing myself. You fall in love with the people that you help and they become your friends. I let them know that twelve or one o’clock at night is never too late to call me. I tell them we can have a pity party or we can have a cup of tea with grace,” Hadnot said. 

Hadnot represents the organization at various churches in the area and attends last chemo treatment parties for members. She says early detection is a major goal of the organization who worked to bring a mammogram bus to Minden in 2014. 

“Our journey is to try to educate people to make sure they do their mammograms and go to their doctor for their follow-up. Sometimes when people get the follow-up news, they quit, but there’s no quitting with breast cancer. We can be survivors,” Hadnot said.  

Hadnot says the group encourages each other as they go to doctor’s visits.

“No one walks alone. We say we’re survivors, but we never know when we go to the doctor what kind of news we may have. We encourage each other when we go to the doctor and if there’s negative news, we’re there to inspire that person and help them know they’re not walking alone,” Hadnot said. 

Pink Pratique and Anna Pink Ribbon were inspired by Hadnot’s own journey with breast cancer. The name of the shop and support group hold special meaning for her and her family. Pink is the official color of breast cancer while Pratique refers to having a clean bill of health. Five generations of women in her family have some form of the name Anna in them.

“It’s a joy to work with the beautiful ladies in the Anna Pink Ribbon Support Group. We are sisters,” Hadnot said. 

The Anna Pink Ribbon Support Group meets once a month and there is a fee of $5 a month. People interested in joining can contact Pink Pratique at 318-639-5035.

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