McDowell County Breast Cancer survivor shares her story

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WELCH, WV (WVNS) — Earlier this month, 59News brought you the story of two women in McDowell County who were fighting to keep their business alive during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Breast Cancer Awareness month comes to an end, we went back to Welch to talk to one of the women who had to fight another battle.

In the 24 years since Fonda Walker co-opened F & W printing, she said she has fought against floods, debt and even sexism. She said she was used to handling external problems like these, but the one thing she was never prepared for was fighting a battle within her own body.

“I didn’t think I had cancer, but they came out and told my family that I had stage three and four breast cancer,” said Walker.

Walker said in the first few months of treatment she did not want to let the cancer stop her daily life. She said she did not want to let down her family and friends, and especially Francis Weaver, with whom she runs the business.

“I came to work everyday even though I was sick. I would go back there and lay down. I would even come in with the drainage bottle on my side,” said Walker.

But she said as things got worse, each day became more and more unbearable. Walker kept a daily journal to always remember what she went through while fighting breast cancer.

“I go back and I look at that journal now and there was many nights I prayed to die in my sleep,” said Walker.

Walker said because of the love and support from her family and friends, she never gave up. From then on, she would pray for something else instead.

“The serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” said Walker.

Now breast cancer is just another bullet on the list of fights Walker has won, but due to complications from cancer and surgery, she said the fight is far from over.

“I fight every day, I am in pain every day, but I am just thankful that I’ve got another day,” said Walker.

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