Clarice Tinsley's Hometown Hero this week is a breast cancer survivor who has overcome tough odds and has a message to share.
In 1970 Mary Parra was 24 years old, a new mom and diagnosed with breast cancer. She said it hit her like a bomb. In those days people didn't talk about breast cancer and they didn't have today's technology. But she was lucky and she was able to beat the cancer. She and her husband, Juan, had another daughter and a son and led happy lives.
They've attended every Komen Race Day since 1987 and her family gives her great support. They make pink posters with glitter and hold pink banners celebrating her 42 years of survivorship. They call themselves Team MVP because those are her initials -- Mary Vivianna Parra.
But this year Parra's breast cancer, the old enemy, came back. The 66-year-old didn't want chemo, but she knew she had to have it to live. She had three rounds of it and then the doctors detected heart problems, unrelated to the cancer. She had a heart attack and then open heart surgery. It was a lot to deal with but it happened fast. Through it all she had her faith and amazing support from family and friends.
Parra's now doing great and wants every woman and man fighting breast cancer to "never give up". The two-time breast cancer survivor is filled with gratitude and wants people in the battle to know that they have much more strength than they realize. She also said, "Don't fight this alone. Rely on your family and your friends to help you."
Komen Dallas Race Day is Saturday at NorthPark Center. For info on how to join visit www.komen-dallas.org.
FOX4 is a proud sponsor of this life-saving race.
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