Paint the church pink
Joyce Latigue (left) poses for a picture with cancer survivor Daniel Cassimer (right) while Sisters on the Go spent an afternoon decorating the church for its upcoming Pink Sunday Service for breast cancer awareness. (Gazette photo by Elizabeth West)
For Joyce Latigue, finding out her 22-year-old daughter had breast cancer completely changed her life. The diagnosis is one that has now also changed the life of other locals who have suffered from cancer and those still suffering today.
Latigue said, “When we first found out that my daughter had cancer, all I could think was that I was going to lose my child. I had even started writing her obituary.
“Soon though, I realized that you can’t pity yourself. You have to do something about it. That’s when I started Sisters on the Go.”
The special organization is one that Latigue uses to provide financial and emotional support to those suffering with cancer and their loved ones.
One way the local organization will be giving back this year will be through a special Pink Sunday Service that the public is invited to attend at St. John Baptist Church in Ville Platte on October 8, 2017, beginning at 8:00 a.m.
All who attend are asked to wear pink in honor of those who lost their fight to cancer, those who are suffering with cancer and in honor of those who are survivors.
For church member and breast cancer survivor Loritha Thomas, the service is one that “means a lot,” and is very “special” to her.
Thomas said, “It means a lot to have the support of your church family when you are going through something like this. And, their continued support for survivors through events like the Pink Sunday Service is so special. Knowing that these people will be there for you during your difficult time and after allows those who have been diagnosed with cancer to have hope.”
When it comes to breast cancer, Thomas also stresses the importance of annual mammograms.
Thomas said, “I went for my annual exam and nothing showed up, but when they did my mammogram, that’s when they spotted the cancer. There isn’t always a noticeable lump on your breast and that is why it is so important that women don’t just rely on self check.”
Another church member who is currently battling breast cancer is Brenda Tosten, and it is through Latigue’s work that Tosten says people are able to have someone to turn to if they need help.
Tosten said, “God sends angels to help you make it through trials in life, and Ms. Joyce is definitely one of those angels. The Pink Sunday Service is just one way that Sisters on the Go helps people with cancer know that they are not alone.”
For another church member and breast cancer survivor who had no support during her battle with cancer, she says the support Sisters on the Go provides to people is a “great thing.”
Patricia Harris said, “I was diagnosed at 27-years-old, and I had just had a baby. I didn’t want to make my family worry and be down about me having cancer, so I made the decision to not tell anyone. I didn’t really have a support group, but now that this organization exists people have someone they can lean on during their difficult time. It is a great thing, and even though I have been cancer free for 26 years it is still nice to have this group of ladies that I can relate to.”
As Sisters on the Go continues to give back to those suffering from cancer in the community, one cancer survivor’s daughter says she can’t thank the organization enough.
Pamela Cassimer said, “Ms. Joyce is completely selfless in her giving, and the support she and Sisters on the Go have given to my family during the healing process was huge. I don’t think I could ever thank them enough.”