The power of sisterhood was on display at the Decatur Visitors Center Friday, as breast cancer survivors, fighters and those impacted by cancer came out to the special indoor edition of Paint the Town Pink.
Rain may have forced the annual event inside, but sisters both fraternal and otherwise came out to share their fight, donning similar shades of pink.
Emily Talley and Naomi Watts, two sisters united by blood and their fight against breast cancer, stood side by side at the event.
They were always close growing up, but their fight against breast cancer made them inseparable.
Talley, who had been in remission for 12 years, showered Watts with support when she was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in 2013.
Through chemotherapy, through radiation and through recovery, they’ve stood side by side.
“She’s my rock,” Watts said. “She was there to tell me what to expect and what I was looking at.”
Watts has been in remission for five years and Talley 15 years.
They fought together and felt it was important to support other sisters at Paint the Town Pink. This isn’t their first event, and they said it won’t be their last.
“It’s widespread, but you don’t realize how many people you know are breast cancer survivors until you come out to events like these,” Talley said. “It’s important to show our support.”
While blood sisters came out to support, other sisters of different backgrounds came out to show their support for the fight against breast cancer.
Decatur and Bridgeport cheerleaders set aside the rivalry and bridged the Battle of Big Sandy Friday.
Both teams came out to Paint the Town Pink and provided baskets for the raffle to raise funds for Mary’s Gift.
Decatur cheer coach Howerton said it’s special to see both teams come together for a good cause.
“This is a time we don’t think about them being Bridgeport and we’re Decatur. We’re sisters,” Celina Howerton said. “Cancer touches everyone. It’s a time to come together and not think about our differences.”
The roads may have been too wet to paint the usual pink stripe down the middle of downtown Decatur, but that didn’t stop the spirit of the event.
Paint the Town Pink featured a raffle, a bake sale and a barbecue lunch. All proceeds went to the Mary’s Gift program, which provides mammography services to the under-insured and uninsured in Wise County.
Wise Health Foundation Director Linda Johnson had to move the event indoors with little notice.
The event, like those locked into the fight against breast cancer, still soldiered on.