Breast Cancer survivors celebrate with hats

(Dave MacQueen/WCIV)

By Victoria Hansen

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- There's nothing that says spring quite like a bright, floppy hat. Women wear them to weddings, for Easter and next week, to celebrate their survival.

"There is joy after the darkness," breast cancer survivor, Geraldine Williams said.

She{}was one of nearly a dozen women gathered at Roper St. Francis Hospital to hand craft hats, using glitter, ribbon, rhinestones and bows.

"I made this one because I like the bright colors," Geraldine said.

The hats will be given to women undergoing chemotherapy and worn to an upcoming Komen luncheon celebrating breast cancer survivors. The theme this year, "Hats off to Survivors."

"There was no breast cancer in my family until me," said Melva Bible. She was diagnosed two years ago through a routine mammogram.

The hat she's crafting{}is wrapped in sheer, purple ribbon with big pops of flowers around the brim. She says it represents hope, something she shares with those who are newly diagnosed.

"To feel that and to give it to someone else is incredible."

Hundreds of breast cancer survivors come to the annual Komen Survivors Luncheon to share that message of hope. Some have as many as 30 years behind them since their diagnosis. Others have just a couple of days. But standing together, survivors say, gives them strength.

This year's luncheon is Sunday, April 15th, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Charleston Marriott Hotel on Lockewood Boulevard downtown. There will be a hat contest and some ladies like Geraldine Williams are ready. When we asked to see her hat stashed in a big, pink hat box, she simply said, "It's under cover. It will be revealed on that day."

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