SPRINGFIELD, Mo- As we continue to highlight the American Cancer Society’s Portraits of Hope, this week we’re introduced to Waunetta Howard, who has won the fight and is now fighting for the younger generations.
As Lauren Barnas and Waunetta sit outside, she starts flipping through the pages of life.
“Here’s a goofy one of me and my granddaughter,” says Waunetta, “Yeah. This is one of my favorites, all of us looking out at the water.”
Waunetta continues to share those happy moments displayed in the book, but tucked in the back are some of those more painful moments Wuanetta still holds onto.
“At the time, he was a baseball player and she was a cheerleader so they’re doing their poses.”
Waunetta was having a normal day when she felt something wrong and knew there was a problem.
“I was taking a shower and felt a knot. I knew there was a problem.”
After the battle, she won the fight in September of 2016 finishing her chemo and radiation.
“I had just rung the bell and finished my treatments. And a really good friend brought me that bright big pink flower,” she says, “I had 33 treatments and toward the end, it really was just an open, raw, you know a sunburned blister, very raw and painful.”
Nearly four years later, she knows there’s still a ‘chance’ cancer could come back.
“I kind of let go of the little stuff. Doing things with family is very important. Just live life because you never know when it’s going to be gone.”
And since the happy ending of her chapter with breast cancer, Waunetta can start a new chapter filled with time spent with her family.
But Waunetta isn’t done fighting, she wants to make sure the sequel to this story, is from any knots in its plot.
“I have a 10-year-old granddaughter and I don’t want a doctor to ever tell her she has breast cancer. I want it to be a world free of breast cancer.”
The Making Strides walk takes place at Hammons Field Plaza on Oct. 19 in Springfield. Daybreak Anchor Lauren Barnas and Meteorologist Elisa Raffa will emcee the event. You can join the KOLR10 team here.