Giving back and paying it forward

How two local breast cancer survivors are helping their faith community.

Giving back or paying it forward to the community is a common response from those who have had major illnesses, such as breast cancer. At Mount Nebo Baptist Church in the Clifton neighborhood of Louisville, a group that includes cancer survivors is making a difference through their faith and health ministry.

Mount Nebo has been part of the Norton Healthcare Faith and Health Ministries network of churches since 2012. Kamala King has been a member at the church for over 20 years. In 2010, she and her mother, Doris King, and friend Shauna Franklin began leading the church’s health ministry.

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Both Kamala and Shauna are breast cancer survivors. “A turning point in my life came when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. I knew I had to give back once I was back on my feet,” Kamala said.

‘Paying it forward’

“I could help people the way people helped me,” Shauna said. “When I had cancer, people helped me. So, call it the Shauna paying it forward movement.”

Kamala and Shauna serve as the co-coordinators of the health and wellness ministry at Mount Nebo. The women organize programs, events, and other activities. In 2018 they held the first

Pink Out Luncheon with events over the entire weekend. Several breast cancer survivors shared their stories, and vendors distributed prevention information. A photo shoot was available to honor breast cancer survivors.

One time a year, they ask the Mount Nebo congregation to wear pink for a “Pink Out” Sunday service in honor of people with breast cancer. Other events include a painting activity, health fair and luncheons with speakers.

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