Wednesday, the state recognized an ETMC program that is reaching out to East Texans.
The East Texas Medical Center Tyler has been selected to receive the Texas Hospital Association's 2012 Excellence in Community Service Award in recognition of its highly successful East Texas Pin-A-Sister breast cancer awareness campaign.
Pin-A-Sister is a faith-based organization that goes into local undeserved areas and churches and encourages women to get mammograms.
Devoria Lates has been a cancer survivor for nearly five years, and that whole time she's been a proud member of Pin-A-Sister.
"When I wake up in the morning, I have Pin-A-Sister on my mind. It pumps me up, just to know how these ladies are working with breast cancer," Lates said.
As a cancer survivor, Devoria is a proud preacher of early detection, crediting God as the only reason she got her mammogram.
"I was at home and the spirit of the Lord said 'mammogram.' People may not believe this, but the Lord said mammogram," Lates said.
After she got the mammogram, she found out she had a lump in her left breast that was cancerous.
"If I hadn't gotten a mammogram the doctor said the cancer would have traveled to my lymph nodes," Lates said.
While she was in treatment, she got involved with Pin-A-Sister, going around to local churches telling her story and encouraging women to get checked.
"I forget all about my breast cancer when I get involved in Pin-A-Sister. They just give you the faith that you know you're gonna make it. There's no downfall about it. You gonna make it with the Pin-A-Sister," Lates said.
She's been an active member of Pin-A-Sister for seven years now, and the organization is proud she's giving her testimony.
"It would have the most impact if it is coming directly from someone who has experienced breast cancer and gone through not having regular mammograms and realizing the importance of having a mammogram," Pin-A-Sister coordinator Almarie Moore said.
Throughout her cancer, Devoria doesn't question God or ask "why me?"
"I look on my life and say 'why not me,' because I'm a child of God, too, and all he was doing was cleaning out my life so I can go out and serve other people that may have breast cancer," Lates said.
Through Pin-A-Sister, Devoria not only encourages people to get mammograms, but encourages those currently with breast cancer that they can make it.
Monday, May 20 2013 2:32 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:32:29 GMT
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