Cancer survivor speaks at recent Tangipahoa Professional Women’s Luncheon

Regina Pergola

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The Tangipahoa Professional Women’s Organization hosted a luncheon where they celebrated the journey of Emily Hines’ battle with acute promyelocytic leukemia. Hines is a recent graduate of Ponchatoula High School who speaks on behalf of the St. Jude Children’s  Research Hospital. Regina Pergola/The Lion’s Roar

At the Tangipahoa Professional Women’s Organization luncheon, recent Ponchatoula High School graduate Emily Hines gave a speech. She talked about her battle with acute promyelocytic leukemia and how she managed to survive the cancer while maintaining a 3.6 GPA and scoring a 30 on the American College Testing, ACT. Her speech was aimed to motivate others to not give up when faced with adversity. 

“I am a 17-year-old leukemia survivor,” said Hines. “Adversity is something that everybody faces in their life. I missed out on my entire senior year because I just finished chemotherapy December 3rd of 2016. Cancer has made me a better person, and it has given me more blessings than any that it could have taken away from me. Before I had cancer, I struggled with social anxiety, which is crazy because now I have sang in front of 9,000 people, and then headed over to chemotherapy right after. Even now, people go, ‘How do you do this?’ and ‘How do you not get nervous?’ Well, people don’t think that little cells you can’t even see with your naked eye are far scarier than any person can ever be. I take that newfound confidence, and I just run with it.”

Hines has traveled twice to California to speak on behalf of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and to Washington D.C. to speak about funding to state representatives. 

The makeup company, Mary Kay Cosmetics, had a representative set up a table with samples of their products at the Tangipahoa Professional Women’s Organization luncheon on May 24 from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Rosaryville Spirit Life Center. 

“Well, I think it’s a great group,” said Diane Pierce, an independent sales director with Mary Kay. “I am actually a co-founder. We went to some meetings in Mandeville to their professional women’s group and decided we needed a group like that in our area here. So, we started it eight years ago. I think it’s very needed in this area, women supporting women. I love that we do support each other, and we do support locals. It’s such a fun group to be with.”

Monica Bourque runs a mobile boutique. She placed little goodies on the table at every place for the women attending the meeting. 

“I’ve been part of TPW for over a year and these ladies are just amazing, and they just push you to be the best you can be, and they support you in all of your challenges,” said Bourque. “I don’t think women have enough of that in their own lives. I am feeling really blessed to be a part of this group.”

TPW supports students through scholarships, and at their next meeting in June, they will be awarding 16 $1,000 awards to students. Otherwise, TPW aims to help business women expand their network and have a support system to help grow their own ambitions. 

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