July Survivor Spotlight: Fannie Jackson

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Mrs. Fannie Appling Jackson is a Macon native, a Komen Central Georgia volunteer, and an inspirational leader to many individuals in our community. Read more on her breast cancer journey, and why she is featured in our Survivor Spotlight for the month of July!

Q: Tell me a little about yourself:

Mrs. Fannie: I went through the school system in Macon, and graduated from Fort Valley State College in 1971 with a degree in Business Administration. I worked my way up through different departments over a course of 38 years! I am a dedicated member of my church, Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, and I am on the church’s finance and building committees. I also work with the local food bank. I have been married to my husband Larry Jackson for 45 years and have two beautiful children, Wanzina N. Jackson and Larry D. Jackson. I am now retired and focus my efforts towards a variety of volunteering opportunities.

Q: Tell us about your breast cancer journey:

Mrs. Fannie: In 2008 I went to have a mammogram on the 1st of the year in 2009. The doctors told me they found a small lump, and my biopsy results determined that it was in fact cancerous. I chose to have a Lumpectomy, which was then followed with thirty radiation treatments and I continued to work all thirty of those treatment days. Although looking back now I wish I had a Mastectomy to help ease my nerves, because I recently had a lesion on my breast that made me very worried.

Q: What do you want people to know?

Mrs. Fannie: My message to people would be to take it one day at a time; I know God will give me everything I need. That’s the way I live my life. If something doesn’t happen, I know it wasn’t meant to be.

Q: How has Komen affected your life?

Mrs. Fannie: Komen gives me an opportunity to let people know there is hope; a cancer diagnosis doesn’t always mean a death sentence. Komen taught me not to have a pity party and that you are not alone. I’ve been a Komen Volunteer since 2013 and I really enjoy working health fairs because I have the opportunity to educate others on the importance of mammograms and general breast cancer facts. Cancer has had a massive impact on my family. Throughout my lifetime my mother as well as her 4 sisters all had some form of cancer. My sister, Nettie Smith, had a mammogram this year and they found a tumor in her breast; she had a mastectomy. It is hard to talk about my journey, but Sarah (Fannie’s friend and fellow Komen Volunteer) encourages me to talk to the public. It tends to get a little easier each time I do it.

Q: Who is your hero?

Mrs. Fannie: This is a hard one but I would have to say my hero is Susan Foster Ray. She was a volunteer at Komen Central Georgia who I encountered when I was at my weakest. I was going through treatment, my husband had renal failure, and my mom had Alzheimer’s and she always seemed to give me courage. She was an inspiration to many. Every time her breast cancer was treated, it always seemed to reappear in another place. But you would never know it by the way she carried herself. You never met her on a day that she was down; she had so much endurance, and taught me that pity parties aren’t necessary. She used to say, “You can cry in the shower and once you get out, you are done with those tears.” You have to have the will to fight in order to make it. I know I can beat cancer as long as I have the Lord on my side.

Q: What inspires you?

Mrs. Fannie: I like to help people! If there is something to be done and I can help you, I love that.