Power of Pink helping put the ‘fight’ in fighting breast cancer

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Janice McCracken, founder of Power of Pink, received a check from Security Bank recently in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Contributed photo

McCracken: ‘Could I be that strong?’

Since 2010, Janice McCracken, founder of Power of Pink, has had the honor of raising funds and meeting the recipients of cash donations, the amazing women battling breast cancer.

A total of 39 women have received funds, and $271,617.53 has been raised to date.

McCracken said the nominations for the May 2022 recipients are currently open.

Every May, on Mothers Day weekend, the Power of Pink hosts a breast cancer walk, dinner and auction to help raise money for the recipients.

This year, three women fighting a breast cancer journey were honored at the May walk. One is Ruth Primrose, whose journey has been shared for two years in The Monett Times’ Breast Cancer awareness issue in October. Primrose was diagnosed in 2016 with breast cancer and cleared in 2018. In 2020, she was diagnosed again, but this time it was metastatic cancer in her spine.

Dawn Bartha, is a 50-year-old woman from Monett who has stage 2, grade 3 rapid growth breast cancer. She was diagnosed in October 2020.

Whitney Fridley, a 36-year-old woman from Webb City, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 21 and just this year was diagnosed with breast cancer.

McCracken said Plunder, a jewelry company who has teamed up with the Power of Pink for many years, donated $5,000 of their Breast Cancer awareness collections earnings last year.

The women honored in May 2021 each received $10,648.48. McCracken said this money is used for anything the women want or need.

“Sometimes, it goes to bills because they haven’t been able to work,” she said. “Sometimes, it goes to a vacation because they deserve to relax and have fun after fighting as hard as they do.

“God gets the glory for everything, because I am just a tool he uses to get it done.”

McCracken said she actually received four nominations for May 2021, but one woman, who has been nominated a number of times, decided not to take part.

“She said she is in her 70s and she would rather see that money go to someone younger or someone who needs it more,” she said. “In addition to the monetary donations, each woman receives jewelry from Plunder, as well as other gifts and donations that we receive. One past recipient’s mother makes quilts for the recipients each year.”

McCracken said every single penny donated is given to each year’s recipients.

“Everything used in the banquet and auction are donated in order to keep from spending any of the money raised for the Pink ladies,” she said. “Even decorations and food is donated. We appreciate every little bit — no amount is too small.”

At this time, the May 2022 walk, dinner and auction are scheduled, but McCracken has a few other things she would like to do to raise money, as well as develop a program to help keep a back-up fund for the Power of Pink to help women all throughout the year.

“If someone is diagnosed in June and is nominated, we don’t have the money to give them until the next year,” she said. “That is because every penny raised was given away in May.”

McCracken said she doesn’t do this work for any other reason than to help these women and to let God’s love shine through her.

“Sometimes, it is hard to grasp exactly how strong these women are to handle what they do,” McCracken said. “I alway think to myself, ‘Could I be that strong?’”

In May 2021, one of the 2020 recipients, Dawn Cope, flew in to be a part of the walk and support fellow women fighting the same battle.

“She could barely walk,” McCracken said. “But, she came in to support these women. Almost every Pink Lady we have gives back each year to the new recipients, they are always thinking of the next lady in need.”

McCracken said it is a blessing to be a part of their journey.

“It is a lot of work,” she said. “I struggle sometimes, but I thank God for letting me be a part of this.”

Anyone who wants to donate items or money for the auction or for the recipients can contact McCracken from the Power of Pink website at www.powerofpinkmo.com.

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