Twenty years ago, Cheryl Rawlins lost a friend to breast cancer. She became more vigilant about completing self-examinations. That’s how she discovered her own cancer.

South Point’s Eric Rawlins and his wife, Cheryl

“It was very traumatic for our family,” said Eric Rawlins, a South Point line servicer and Cheryl’s husband. “At the time of Cheryl’s diagnosis, we had two teenagers and a three-year-old. They needed their mom. All I wanted and prayed about was keeping my wife on this earth.”

Cheryl was 36 years old. Breast cancer didn’t run in her family. Both she and Eric learned the eye-opening lesson that the disease can happen to anyone.

“My wife is tough. She’s a fighter. During treatment, she never complained and always looked forward. She still does,” Eric said. “It’s emotionally hard for her when she hears that someone loses their fight. That’s why it’s important to her to spread the word so it can be caught early.”

Cheryl is celebrating 20 years of being cancer-free this month. She credits self-exams with helping save her life, and constantly encourages others to get mammograms. By catching the disease in its early stages, it can be treated most effectively.

“Wearing a pink hard hat in October is obviously near and dear to me. I love when we pull out those hats and wear them for the month. Our family is blessed because Cheryl is still here,” Eric said.

“My hope is that our hard hats serve as a reminder to everyone to do self-exams. It’s also a way to celebrate those who have fought or are fighting the good fight right now. And we get to honor those who are no longer with us.”

Published October 22, 2020

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