Mississippi State University’s Department of Health Promotion and Wellness is hosting the annual Pink Dawg Walk, a free public event that raises awareness for breast cancer. The Pink Dawg Walk provides opportunities to learn about proper nutrition, exercise and self-exam tips at various educational stations along the walk. All breast cancer survivors are invited as special guests.
JuLeigh Baker, Health Education Specialist for Health Promotion and Wellness at MSU, is helping run the event and said she is looking forward to people coming out to support breast cancer survivors.
“The Pink Dawg Walk is our signature breast cancer awareness event,” Baker said. “It is a free community and campus event that we host to bring awareness to early detection of breast cancer, supporting cancer patients and prevention while we celebrate our survivors. This is the sixth year we’ve hosted the walk.”
Baker said people who participate can look forward to some casual exercise at their own pace while learning interesting things at different stations during the walk.
“We will have free snacks and t-shirts while they last for participants, so it’s first come, first serve,” Baker said. “Breast cancer survivors will receive a special t-shirt at the event, and our sponsors will have tables set up as well to interact with participants. This is a fun way to bring awareness to a very serious disease, and we hope many people come out to join us.”
Carol Faulkner, a breast cancer survivor and employee for the Division of Student Affairs at MSU, said she is in full support of the Pink Dawg Walk as it reminds her every year of what she, and countless others who have fought and survived breast cancer, have gone through.
“On May 2, 2018, I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Faulkner said. “This is a date I will never forget, and it was the day my journey began. God chose me for a reason.”
After surgery and pathology report results, Faulkner said she was told she would have to receive chemotherapy and radiation. Faulkner said she embraced life with a bald head and trusted in God, knowing that she was chosen to be on this path for a reason.
“It was bad enough to have cancer and the surgery, but lose my hair, too? Never question God,” Faulkner said. “I’ve met so many inspirational people along the way. People have prayed for me and with me. A dear friend, Melissa Vaughn, took me to Nashville in October to see, hear and meet Jason Aldean, who does a concert every October with proceeds benefitting the Susan G. Komen foundation for breast cancer. I will happily answer questions for those that are just curious, newly diagnosed and those going through treatment. I’ve tried as best I can to be an inspiration to others.”
Faulkner said she had a follow up with her oncologist on Thursday of last week, and everything looked fine. She said she will always support those battling breast cancer.
“I’m thankful for my husband, Derick Childs, and my son, Jacob Faulkner for being with me every step of the way. Without them, I would not have made it. I’m praying for those who are currently battling breast cancer, and I will always be tied in pink,” Faulkner said.
The Pink Dawg Walk will be held Oct. 3 from 4-7 p.m. at the Chadwick Lake Walking Track near the Joe Frank Sanderson Center, and everyone, especially breast cancer survivors, is invited to come out and bring awareness to breast cancer.