In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many of local fall sports teams have hosted or are hosting Pink Out Nights.
During the Fredericktown High School Volleyball Team’s Pink Out Night this month, the entire team honored Krissy Ball, a survivor who has been fighting her battle since May.
“Each year, the volleyball team selects a community member to honor on this night and celebrate with them, their victories in their journey to beat cancer,” Fredericktown Athletic Director Derrick Eaves said. “This year, before even being asked, the girls knew exactly who they wanted to select.”
Ball, who was born and raised in Fredericktown, is deeply rooted into the community.
As a cosmetologist for the last 18 years, she has been taking care of many of the player’s hair since they were just little girls.
As a fundraising effort, the volleyball team sold Pink Out Shirts and The Crazy Wildflower raffled off a locally made craft. The team raised $600.
Cancer survivor Kinleigh Gresham, who Ball has known since she was a baby, had the honor of presenting Ball with the check from the team.
“This community has been unbelievable through all of it,” Ball said. “There were raffles that people did. There was a side-by-side ride they did for me. All the cards that people sent, some people put extremely generous checks in them. It is just crazy. I have never been so happy to be from Fredericktown.”
Ball’s breast cancer journey began May 10, when she was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer.
That same month, on May 25, she had a double mastectomy. After four weeks of recovery, she began chemo on June 28.
After her second chemo treatment she said farewell to her beautiful hair as she had her husband Jeremy and two daughters Willow, 10, and Joey, 4, shave her head. With a smile on her face she continued to show her daughters what true strength looks like.
“I have two little girls, so I knew I still had to show up for them every day,” Ball said. “So I pushed myself. I walked, jogged, every single day. I tried to eat as healthy as I could, even though your taste changes a lot through chemo. I drank tons of water every day to stay hydrated so it didn’t dehydrate me. I tried.”
During his speech Eaves said, Ball has continued to persevere even when times were tough.
“She has gotten up time and time again after each and every setback, and she has lifted her eyes and her faith to God to see her through all of the challenges that she has encountered,” Eaves said. “On the days she was exhausted, she showed up.
“On the days she didn’t feel well, she showed up. On the days that the emotional toll was almost unbearable, she showed up. If you know Krissy personally, you know how strong and fierce she has always been. Cancer could have taken that from her, but she didn’t allow it.”
Ball said she could not have done it without Jesus in her corner. He was her driving force.
She said every church in this community lifted her up and she could feel it, and her prayers were answered.
“I was only 36 and they don’t start doing mammograms until you are 40,” Ball said. “Thirty-six is young to be diagnosed with that. It is very, very important to make sure you know how to do an exam properly and you do it every single month.
“If caught early, it is curable. It wouldn’t have waited until 40. By then it would have been stage 3 or 4.”
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org