Project Pink’d: Breast cancer survivors gather in Omaha to share gratitude

Sunday afternoon, Project Pink’d hosted their annual Thanksgiving Care to Share event in person for the first time since COVID-19 hit.
Published: Nov. 13, 2022 at 10:33 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - For hundreds of local women, breast cancer awareness isn’t just in October — it’s all year round.

Sunday afternoon, Project Pink’d hosted their annual Thanksgiving Care to Share event in person for the first time since COVID-19 hit.

The organization is dedicated to supporting local breast cancer fighters and survivors.

“A lot of these women here today were diagnosed during covid and they didn’t have anyone to hold their hand in their doctor’s appointments or when they were going through treatment, they had to be completely alone. so just for them to make the step to register for this event and show up is huge,” says Shawn McCarville with Project Pink’d.

Sunday’s event was a reminder to survivors to be thankful for the little things and was a chance to connect. It was also a reminder to be thankful for the little things, and a chance to connect.

“I had tons of friends and family that were there to help me, but there’s something to be said about being supported by another survivor, they understand the journey you’re going through,” says Kelly Konen, a two-time breast cancer survivor.

After her first battle, she began mentoring newly-diagnosed women for Project Pink’d. But shortly after her 10-year cancer-versary, she was re-diagnosed.

“Some of the survivors I had mentored over the years when they were diagnosed were now consulting me, encouraging me, and doing things for me and my family as I was doing it the second time so I had a giant Project Pink’d army behind me the second time I went through it and I’m so grateful for that.”

Sunday’s event was bittersweet, too. It was the first one since Cynthia Sturgeon’s passing.

Sturgeon founded Project Pink’d 13 years ago, and lost her own battle with breast cancer in August, on her 55th birthday.

“I’m one of many that were blessed to have Cynthia in my life as a friend and a mentor, she’s the one who invited me to the first Project Pink’d event,” Kelly adds.

Kelly says gatherings like today help Cynthia’s legacy live on.

“Cynthia just had that gift of making you want to give back, she encouraged you to go down deep in your soul and use your experiences to help other people get through those tough times.”

Although it’s a club that no one wants to be part of — they’re thankful for each other.

“Survivors connecting with survivors is so powerful, it’s strong, it’s powerful, it makes you feel like you can accomplish anything,” Kelly says.

As part of the Thanksgiving Care to Share event, volunteers will be delivering Thanksgiving meals to over 200 breast cancer survivors.

The organization is built on providing financial assistance to women battling the disease, and providing free services, events and resources to fighters and survivors in every stage of their diagnosis.