LACEY’S SPRING, Ala. (WHNT) — October is breast cancer awareness month. It’s a time to raise awareness and money for research and programs to support those in the fight. We want you to meet a woman who battled breast cancer and won.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Lacey’s Spring, you’ll find the White Barn at Padgett Place. Jana Padgett owns and runs the event venue. But weddings are her specialty.
“I’m a wedding, Hallmark movie kind of girl and I just truly believe in love and marriage, and this has been my dream for a long time,” Jana told me, “and it has finally come true.”
She and her husband had just cleared the lot and poured the concrete when COVID-19 hit. But she didn’t give up on her dream.
“It was tough. It was scary,” she said, “And I asked my husband with tears running down my face, what am I going to do? And he said you can’t make any of your money back until you finish it. So, we just took a leap of faith and finished it and it has been good to us.”
Jana’s grateful she’s even here to enjoy her hard work. In April 2011, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“By the end of the year, I had had three surgeries, eight rounds of chemo, and 33 consecutive radiation treatments,” she said, adding, “It was a long hard year.” It was a tough journey, but it is so worth it when you come out on the other end. I’ve seen all three of my children get married since I got well and had three grandbabies.”
When you’re told you have cancer, it’s scary.
“It’s like a 2×4 up against your head. It’s like your head spins. Just that word,” Jana said. “Everybody’s telling you what to do, how to do, when to be where. You’ll have a bunch of choices.”
She put her trust in her medical team and a higher power.
“Amen to that. That is a fact,” she said. “I just gave it up to Him and said, Thy will be done. And once I did that, I felt way better.”
Jana was not going to let cancer control her life. She knew chemo would cause her to lose her hair so she threw a dinner party and invited her hairdresser.
“I took control of when my hair fell out. I had her shave my head that night,” she told News 19. “That made me feel like I was getting to make a few decisions for myself.”
Jana is an 11-year survivor. She wants people to know their donations to the American Cancer Society make a difference.
“People need to see that there’s a good quality of life after cancer,” she said, “I also want to set the example for other survivors to give some of their time and efforts to raise money. Breast cancer is much more curable today than it was 20 years ago.”
Breast cancer affects women and men. But Jana wants to see all cancer wiped out. That’s why she never passes up an opportunity to talk to people about how the ACS’s support programs helped her during her fight.
And through the end of October, our team at WHNT News 19 is raising money to help in the fight. Just follow the link to donate to News 19’s Jerry Hayes’ Real Men Wear Pink of North Alabama campaign. You’re helping people like Jana Padgett to battle breast cancer and win their fight.