The power behind Power of Pink

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Power of Pink Founder Janice McCracken, left, poses with this year’s recipients, from left, Erma Mast, of Cassville; Amanda Woods, of Arkansas; Sabrina Reed, of Exeter; and Dawn Cope, of Republic. The recipients each received a quilt, a goody basket and checks for $12,907.65. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

4 women fighting breast cancer honored in 2020

Power of Pink is a local organization that operates to serve and help those who have had a breast cancer diagnosis, but where does that power come from?

Many would say the power in Power of Pink is shown in the men and women who fight every day after they have started a breast cancer journey. Some might say it is derived from the support and donations that go to those in need who are dealing with the unforeseen consequences of a cancer diagnosis.

This year’s recipients of the Power of Pink donations were, from left: Sabrina Reed, of Exeter; Dawn Cope, of Republic; Erma Mast, of Cassville; and Amanda Woods, of Arkansas. Contributed photo

Janice McCracken, founder of Power of Pink, believes the power behind Power of Pink is a beautiful mix of both.

In the last decade, Power of Pink has helped 36 women and raised $239,672.07. This year, as the 10th anniversary was celebrated, four women were honored, each receiving $12,907.65.

Those women are:

• Dawn Cope, a life-long resident of Jenkins who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in December 2019. At the time of her diagnosis, Cope was recovering from a head-on vehicular collision that occurred that October. What followed was a year-long battle with cancer amidst a global pandemic. She faced multiple obstacles, and in the end, she decided she would make herself do something every day, even though she didn’t want to.

• Sabrina Reed, a local woman and the mother of two children. Reed was diagnosed in October 2017 after noticing a lump in her right breast that August. Reed’s metastatic breast cancer spread to her brain, and the treatment caused permanent hair and memory loss.

• Erma Mast, a Cassville resident who did not react immediately after she noticed a lump in her left breast in the spring of 2019. Finally in November, she went to the doctor and was diagnosed with infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma ER and HER-2NEU positive stage 2 breast cancer. Thankfully, her treatment plan is curative.

• Amanda Woods, a local woman whose breast cancer journey began on Valentines Day in 2019. Just two days after an emergency room visit, she was diagnosed with stage 3 grade 2 IDC breast cancer. However, she was quickly re-diagnosed with stage 4 cancer after multiple scanned showed metastasis in her bones and liver. Woods received her last radiation treatment nearly a year later on Jan. 13, 2019, after learning her father had passed away earlier that morning.

It takes a special kind of power to face what these brave women have faced and continue to fight every day for their lives.

McCracken said when a person hears all of the stories and journeys, it is simply unbelievable.

“Unfortunately, this year’s 10th anniversary celebration was affected by COVID-19,” she said. “We couldn’t do the banquet, and it affected the crowds at the annual walk on Mother’s Day weekend.

“But, with all of that, people still came together and continued to support and donate so that we could help these four women.”

One of the single largest donations came from Plunder Designs, a Utah-based jewelry company that gave a check to Power of Pink for $26,687.66 in May.

“It turned out to still be a great year, even with everything that we had going on,” McCracken said. “With the mess that the country has been in, God really blessed us with how much we were still able to raise.”

McCracken said she wants Plunder Designs to know exactly how thankful she is to them.

“Plunder Designs has been working with us for four years,” she said. “In the past, all the Pink sales throughout the whole company, they would give us 20 percent. This year with other things that have come up, they are giving us 20 percent of all of the sales in Missouri.”

People can purchase online at https://www.plunderdesign.com/.

“Power of Pink aims to help women in the fourstate area of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas,” she said. “When you hug one of these women after giving them a check and they whisper in your ear that this money is a life changer — it’s amazing.”

McCracken said these women are fighting every day, and to add financial stress on top of that is heartbreaking.

“I cannot say thank you enough for all of the support we have received to give to these women,” she said. “This whole thing starts with the support of their friends or family who nominate these women.”

While a person may not be experiencing breast cancer for themselves, there is power in supporting the men and women who are, whether it is financially or by just being there for them any way they need.

“I spoke with 10 women this year who were nominated,” McCracken said. “Of those 10 women, six of them told us to help out someone else who needs it more. I am so thankful that we have never had to turn anybody down.”

That kindness and support is so powerful.

Currently, Power of Pink is accepting nominations on its website https://www.powerofpinkmo.com/, and at the first of the year, the women nominated will be contacted.

“In 2021, we will bring in some different things to help raise the money,” she said. “We will bring the banquet back and focus on the last 10 years. I want to mention every woman we have ever helped.

“We have lost some of them, but we are still fighting with and for them.”

People may visit https://www.plunderdesign.com/ and purchase from their Pink collection that was released this week to help raise money for the Power of Pink, and for more information or to nominate someone, people may visit https://www.powerofpinkmo.com/.

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