PWA holds 6th anniversary party at The Healthy Hub
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Pink Warrior Angels of Texas celebrated six years of helping cancer patients with a literal bang Saturday morning at the Healthy Hub in the Cove Terrace Shopping Center.
Vendors set up in the parking lot in front of the Healthy Hub, and at 9 a.m., the Healthy Hub workers led a group of excited participants in a Cardio Drumming session, where drumsticks were used to bang on exercise balls.
Pink Warrior Angels founder Julie Moser said she hadn’t planned on having a big celebration for Pink Warrior Angels of Texas this year, but she said yes when Jessie Jonasson, owner of the Healthy Hub, approached her and asked to organize one.
“She has done a really great job of giving back to us and taking care of us that way, and I’m grateful for that because we’re going to be doing the run, and she’s going to be a sponsor now, and everybody’s going to get a great drink,” Moser said. “Not many people know about her over here, so I think it’s great that we have the opportunity to share this day together.”
Jonasson said that the Healthy Hub has been wanting to hold events for a while, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were unable to do so yet.
When she decided to move forward with planning an event, she approached Tyra Charmant, who is on the board of directors for Pink Warrior Angels and who frequently attends cardio classes at the Healthy Hub.
After being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, Charmant discovered Pink Warrior Angels through the annual Pink Warrior Dash. She said she attended the race and fell in love with the organization.
Charmant said that she was happy to celebrate such a great organization at one of her favorite businesses.
“I fell in love with them,” Charmant said about PWA. “When I found out what they’re about, I was like, ‘This is the organization I need to be a part of.’ It’s more than me. It’s about giving back. It’s about more than myself. You’re giving something back that is meaningful, and only the cancer world understands what you’re going through. Everybody knows about the surgery, everybody knows about chemo, everybody knows about all the sickness, and they can give you all the advice, but I can tell someone who never had cancer and they wouldn’t understand why you still have anxiety. So, this is what Pink Warrior Angels does for me.”
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the basket raffles and vendor fees from Saturday’s event were donated to Pink Warrior Angels in addition to the 30 percent of each shake and tea sale inside the Healthy Hub on Saturday.
“It means the world,” Jonasson said about being able to hold the event. “Locally, I grew up here so it’s super important to give back to the people here locally, but then on top of it, everybody knows somebody that has gone through some type of cancer, and I don’t think they realize how expensive it is. To be able to even put a dent in that and then not just that but know exactly where it’s going, because this organization is local, is super, super cool to know that there’s somebody in this community who doesn’t have to worry about how they’re going to pay their electricity bill or doesn’t have to worry about how they’re going to get dinner that night. There’s not really anything quite like it, so it’s super awesome to see.”
Moser was first diagnosed with breast cancer back in October 2013. She founded Pink Warrior Angels in 2015.
“I remember talking to Wendy Sledd when I first started this, and I’m like, ‘I’d like to do a 5k or I’d like to do more stuff in community.’ She said, ‘You can do it. I have faith in you,’ and so she’s the one that gave me the big spark of hope, and since then we have grown over the years,” Moser said. “Even with COVID last year in 2020, even though we weren’t out in public a lot, we still had a lot of support, and it was just nice for people to still remember us because it was hard to get some of the bigger donations that we normally get for events or sponsorships.”
The organization is dedicated to providing financial assistance and support to people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Although the organization started out focusing on breast cancer, they have expanded to all cancers. The organization pairs Warriors with Angels, to help those who are newly diagnosed go through their new journey with someone who has been there before.
They offer college scholarships through the Marily Considine Scholarship Fund, and they offer financial assistance grants for cancer patients to help with bills. The grants are open to people who are Texas residents who are in active treatment for a cancer diagnosis (i.e. chemotherapy, radiation, or pending cancer surgery) or in remission or on long-term hormonal therapy (such as Tamoxifen for breast cancer survivors) or long-term targeted therapy (such as Gleevec or Herceptin), according to their website. Applicants fill out an application where they explain how cancer has affected their lives, especially regarding any financial difficulties.
During the pandemic alone, PWA distributed a total of $26,211 to patients during the pandemic alone.
Moser said that Pink Warrior Angels will cover the bill, such as a mortgage, by paying directly to the company, rather than the individual.
“As we’ve evolved over the years, we now have a community bond, if you will, in the Central Texas area that we are now starting to get referrals from Dallas and Austin and Houston and San Antonio,” Moser added. “That’s amazing, but that also tells you that some of those bigger organizations that people donate to don’t have funds to give money for what we do to help paying mortgage or bills and such like that so that said a lot.”
Moser said that one out of every 10 applications that Pink Warrior Angels has received are referred from larger non-profit organizations.
Moser said she was so happy to see the different vendors and shoppers out in front of the Healthy Hub to help celebrate six years of Pink Warrior Angels.
“It means a lot when people come out to want to be vendors or support us in any capacity because that means we have made an impact on them somehow, whether we’ve helped a family member or friend, or they just see what we’re doing, and they’re appreciative of that and that means a lot because the cancer world is a scary world, and sometimes there’s things that are not talked about in the cancer world, and so being able to have the opportunity to talk about it.”
Moser said she was especially grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by everybody as she waited for the results of her most recent PET scan after being diagnosed with breast cancer again in December 2020. She said she called the waiting period “scan-xiety” and was just trying to keep busy, which the PWA birthday celebrations helped with.
Pink Warrior Angels will be holding a registration party for the 7th annual Pink Warrior Dash on Aug. 28 at the Copperas Cove Walmart from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The race itself will be on Sept. 25, at City Park, starting at 9 a.m.
Pink Warrior Angels of Texas will also be holding a Pink Out Football Game at the Bulldawg Stadium and the annual Pink Block Party at HomeBase in Copperas Cove.
Something new this year will be the Pink Out Game at Tarleton State University, which is the alma mater of PWA member Marily Considine, who passed away from breast cancer in 2019.