Delilah Evans is one of several residents in the Pine Belt to receive support from the Pink Ribbon Fund, a local non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to residents for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
Evans has been diagnosed with breast cancer on two occasions: the first in 2000 and then twenty-two years later in January 2022, she learned she had it for the second time. Having had experience with breast cancer, Evans said she regularly practiced self-examinations, which is how she discovered a mass in her breast that she said grew within days. Evans quickly made an appointment with her primary care physician who then referred her to Orlando J. Andy, Jr., MD, with Hattiesburg Clinic Surgery, for an in-depth analysis of the growth.
“My initial appointment with Dr. Andy was to have a consultation for a biopsy,” Evans said. “When Dr. Andy examined me, he said we have to do it right now, so we did the biopsy that particular day. Dr. Andy was very professional in trying not to alarm me, but I knew it was serious. They called me back within a couple days, and that is when they told me I had cancer.”
After completing one of her intial treatments, Evans was referred to the Pink Ribbon Fund, which she said her sister, who works at Forrest General Hospital, had mentioned to her once before.
“I was at the doctor one day, paying my co-pay for my visit, and the receptionist asked me if I had heard of the Pink Ribbon Fund. I told her that I heard about it, but I didn’t know how to get the application,” Evans said. “The receptionist provided me a copy of the application, so I filled it out right there at the doctor’s office. Not even two weeks later, I received a letter from the Pink Ribbon Fund, saying that I qualified.”
Evans received monetary support from the Pink Ribbon Fund that helped cover one of her treatment fees. Months later, she requested additional assistance with a prescription cost, so she reached out to the Pink Ribbon Fund, who helped pay for the prescription the very next day.
Evans has nearly completed the treatment process and has resumed her normal activities, working as a customer service representative for a call center in Hattiesburg and spending time with her family.
During his time with Evans, Dr. Andy said what he appreciates most about her is her positive, upbeat attitude.
“We can’t cure every patient with breast cancer, but with screenings and mammograms and breast cancer awareness, hopefully we can catch it early and have a lot more success,” Andy said. “I am grateful for Delilah and that she is doing so well and knowing how appreciative she is [of the services provided] makes me feel so good and also a little teary-eyed.”
Dr. Andy and Evans advise everyone, both men and women, to know their body, perform regular self-exams and to talk to their doctor if something feels abnormal.
“And no matter the result, do not give up. Don’t lose your faith,” Evans said. “Here I am, a two-time [breast cancer survivor], and I am doing great.”
If you are interested in learning more about donation or volunteer opportunities with Pink Ribbon Fund, visit their website here.