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St. Louis mom and daughter battle breast cancer together

"Seeing her strength helped me to be strong during my own battle," Jones shares.

ST. LOUIS — Participants are excited for the Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk St. Louis Saturday. It's the first time back in person since the pandemic and it returns with a new location at Tower Grove Park.

Survivors and loved ones from all over the region will join the race to raise awareness.

Two participants in the group are Melissa Jones and her mom, Linda Shead. 

"In 1993, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and when I got the diagnosis it was like so this is how I am going to die," Shead said. "I had six months of treatment and radiation so it was very rigorous."

That's when her daughter Melissa did all the exams to make sure she was okay, too.

Results came back normal until the fall of 2017 when Jones felt a lump during a self breast exam. 

"I got that dreaded phone call Melissa you have breast cancer, I physically collapsed, physically collapsed," she said. 

This was just a few days after her job made a massive layoff. She was one of the people let go after working there for 12 years. 

"You gotta pull up your bootstraps and get to work," Jones says.

She did the same treatment as her mom. Leaning on each other, they got through it together.

"Seeing her strength helped me to be strong during my own battle," Jones shared.

"Knowing I had it before I felt like I had so much to contribute to her and encourage her and by the grace of God we'll get through this," Shead said.

And they both did. Both are cancer-free. 

Moving forward, the dynamic duo strongly believes in supporting others, too.

Their family has been participating in Susan G. Komen's More than Pink Walk since 2000.

"It's kind of emotional when you walk through the walk and cross that finish line and the sisterhood of other survivors and those who unfortunately lost the battle," Jones points out. 

While the name of the walk has changed, the purpose and passion remained the same.

It's to save lives, spread awareness, and to remind you - you'll always have someone by your side, cheering you on.

"To have that huge gathering like the walk it makes you feel good and it's encouraging," Jones adds. 

Both women urge others to get mammograms and self-checkups. 

"Just remember it’s not a death sentence and there’s so much out here to help. Just look to Komen for help," Shead shares. 

"We can’t afford to sit back and say well I’m scared so I’m not going to get a mammogram," Jones said. "Knowledge is power."

Event info:

Activities begin at 7:30 a.m. at Tower Grove Park. on June 11, 2022.

Walkers will meet at the Sons of Rest Pavilion off Southeast Drive.

The survivor procession and program begins at 9 a.m. Walk starts at 9:30 a.m. 

For a link to the map, click here.

The fundraising goal this year is $300,000. More than 4,000 people have already signed up.

5 On Your Side has been a proud sponsor of the walk for more than 20 years.

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