How one church is supporting cancer survivors and fighters this month

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RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — As October begins Breast Cancer Awareness Month, one Raleigh County Church wanted to share the stories of strength and raise awareness for those affected by cancer.

When Reva Bowman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, she said only one thing was on her mind as she received the news.

“I thought, I am gonna die, 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 she stands. For Bowman, she said she does not know why she is still here today, What she does know is that she would not be here without the support of those around her and her faith.

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

As Bowman recalls her time battling cancer, she said she had too much to fight for to give up, and she wants anyone fighting a similar battle to know if she can do it they can too.

“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 got to overcome that we have got to have our strength and our willpower and there has to be a purpose in life and truthfully I didn’t give up,” said Bowman.

Bowman not only beat cancer but COVID-19 as well. She was not the only one fighting a battle for their health during the pandemic.

Pamela Lusk-Lilly was diagnosed with both breast cancer and cervical cancer at the beginning of the pandemic, both she has almost completely rid her body of.

She said she feels called upon to share her story of strength.

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

She was so thankful she got to do so in front of the very same people that helped her along the way.

“You know when you are diagnosed with that all you can do is pray your family and friends your church family it just means the world to you because you need them the most in your most difficult time you need them the most,” said Lusk-Lilly.

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