MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- Many families are affected by a woman in their family being diagnosed with breast cancer. Local organization, United in Pink’s mission is to help those families going through rough times.
The idea for the organization came when Sandy Union was diagnosed with breast cancer. This not only affected her, but her family as well, especially her daughter, Laura Paxton.
“Even though I was 30 when my mother was diagnosed, it’s still my mom and so our entire family was affected,” Paxton said. “Our lifestyle changed.”
After her mother fought her battle, she wanted to give back the community. Together, Sandy and Laura hosted a fundraiser to thank her community for their outpouring support. It was called Bunko for Breast Cancer and in 2007 they became a non-profit organization. In 2011, they changed their name to United in Pink, but their mission remained the same.
United in Pink provides help to all families being affected by breast cancer. They usually get a referral from local cancer centers and reach out to women fighting their battle. They want to make sure that they’re not going through it alone. They meet in person to get to know each other and about the family. United in Pink has gift baskets for mothers, grandmothers, kids and spouses. They also host events throughout the year and have a camp for kids who are going through the same thing. They do their best to make sure every family member is taken care of.
“We hope that all breast cancer survivors whether they’re newly diagnosed or they’re a twenty year survivor walk through our door and allow us to be a part of their family,” Paxton said.
Elaine Hardison was one of those who walked through their door and met with Paxton.
“One day I thought, OK, I’ll meet with her. And this was before my first mastectomy and we talked for two hours,” Hardison said. “After I got a little bit stronger, I volunteered a little bit and I liked everyone so much, I came to work in March of this year.”
Hardison is now the Marketing Director of United in Pink along with Jodie Boggers, who is the Program Director. Together the two help Paxton provide the best services for breast cancer families.
United in Pink runs off donations and fundraisers. Everything provided to families is free.
The organization has helped over 500 families in 21 Georgia counties and they’re happy to keep growing.