Piedmont Macon bringing awareness to breast cancer with ‘Tree of Hope’

Each October, Piedmont Macon joins millions worldwide to help bring awareness to breast cancer.
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Piedmont Tree of Hope
Piedmont Tree of Hope

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Each October, Piedmont Macon joins millions worldwide to help bring awareness to breast cancer.

The hospital welcomes families to place a ribbon on their Tree of Hope, located in front of the Cancer Center.

The center says cancer can strike anyone of any age and that placing a ribbon on the tree signifies much more.

For Willon Hunter, the pink ribbon symbolizes more than just her fight with the cancer. It’s an opportunity to share her experience and educate others.

“This is nothing to be ashamed of,” she said. “This is something to say I fought it and I conquered it.”

Hunter, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, says her family kept her going through 13 rounds of chemotherapy and the loss of her hair.

“I have four children and one grandchild and have been married almost 20 years,” she said. “My strong faith in God never put that in my mind. I never ever wanted to give up.”

Hunter says everyone’s journey with breast cancer is different. She says she went through reconstructive surgery and was cancer free in early 2020.

She’s now joining dozens of other women in placing her pink ribbon on the Tree of Hope.

“The idea behind it is the remembrance and to honor women who have fought the battle of breast cancer during their lives,” Oncology Services Director with Piedmont Macon Chris Wright said.

Hunter says when someone places a ribbon on the tree, it’s a special moment.

“If it’s in memory of someone, a tear is shed,” she said. “We have quiet moments, too. We have others who are celebrating another year cancer free.”

Whatever the reason may be, Hunter has one message to those battling breast cancer.

“Be resilient, be steadfast, be steadfast in your faith and know that you are not fighting this alone,” she said. “There are many of us that have gone through it. There are many of us that are still fighting, but stay focused.”

Anyone can stop by the Cancer Center to write a name or a message on the pink ribbon.

Piedmont Macon urges women to get a mammogram regularly to help detect breast cancer early.

You can schedule an appointment at the Cancer Center weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or on weekends from 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Categories: Bibb County, Featured, Local News, WMGT