Forrest General Cancer Center Receives Lap Quilt Donations from Miss Pine Belt, Macy Mitchell
From left: Vice President Ben Hester, stands with Miss Pine Belt Macy Mitchell, and Cancer Center patient Navigator, Ramona Martin.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (June 22, 2021) For the past 10 years, Macy Mitchell, who has been a contestant in the Miss Mississippi Pageant, has been raising money as part of her state pageant platform, Communities Against Cancer. To date, she's raised more than $40,000 to fund cancer research and to support cancer patients in the Pine Belt.
As this year's Miss Pine Belt, Mitchell initiated a drive to collect lap quilts and blankets for patients at the Forrest General Cancer Center. Prior to leaving for this year's Miss Mississippi Pageant, June 23-26, Mitchell donated 20 blankets to Forrest Health representatives, Ben Hester, vice president, and Ramona Martin, Cancer Center patient navigator.
When the pandemic halted pageant contestants' efforts to raise awareness for their causes, Mitchell didn't let that stop her. "I began collecting the quilts and blankets to donate to chemotherapy patients at the FGH Cancer Center," she said. "The blankets came not only from Pine Belt-area locals but also individuals who heard about my cause throughout the state of Mississippi and even in Tennessee. I appreciate the time, talents and resources of those who helped me in providing support to patients receiving chemotherapy treatment at the Cancer Center."
Mitchell and her family have been long-time supporters of the American Cancer Society, especially its Relay for Life. Her involvement became more personal after losing her grandfather to cancer in 2014. "After he passed away, I knew I had to do something bigger and bolder to raise money and awareness for the organization," Mitchell said. Since that time she has created and hosted various fundraisers and patient-support initiatives, like the quilt drive, to aid in the ACS's mission of ensuring this disease is eradicated and patients are supported, all while encouraging others to join her in her efforts.
In addition to her grandfather, Mitchell has also had other family members who have been treated at Forrest General's Cancer Center. "As Miss Pine Belt, I wanted to ensure those in my community had a comfort item to help them through a difficult and painful time," she said. "Chemotherapy treatment is beneficial, but it's also a very difficult process to go through, and right now these patients need our support."
Mitchell said when she began the Communities Against Cancer initiative nearly 10 years ago, she had no idea how instrumental her involvement in the Miss America Organization would be. "The Miss America Organization has provided me with a platform to reach and connect with more people than I ever thought possible -- within the state of Mississippi and beyond," said Mitchell. "My involvement with this incredible organization, in combination with the support of countless volunteers and donors, has resulted in $40,000 and countless lives impacted. Mississippi, let’s continue to cultivate a #communityagainstcancer."
For the last two year, Mitchell has served as Community Outreach Educator at Kids Hub Child Advocacy Center in Hattiesburg. At the center, she has been focused on educating the public on signs and symptoms of child abuse while also working with local law enforcement agencies, the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services, the state legislature, and many others to assess how agencies can better serve victims of child abuse within the state. Mitchell is currently working to finish her graduate degree in Criminal Justice at William Carey University in the summer of 2022. She has also been accepted into the Mississippi College School of Law Class of 2024 and plans on obtaining her juris doctor and pursuing a career as a prosecuting attorney.