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‘Brave and strong’ cancer warriors shine at Our Laughter in the Rain gala

Posted at 1:05 AM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 01:11:29-04

Watch the report by WTVR CBS 6 Photojournalist Todd Haas in the video player above.

WYNDHAM , Va. – A remarkable sisterhood honored women and children diagnosed with cancer Sunday night at the Dominion Club in Wyndham.

The mission of the group Our Laughter in the Rain, founded by Cheryl Tankersley, is to provide a free, "beautiful celebration" featuring motivational speakers, live musical performances, a fashion show, delicious treats and information from cancer non-profits who offer free services.

Tankersley is a hairdresser who makes wigs for women battling cancer. She offers the service for free and called it her ministry.

"It's just a sisterhood," Tankersley said. "I work with women every day who are going through cancer and I saw a huge need for them to have an opportunity to be with other warriors and to be with survivors."

The group also aims to offer "a comfortable, comforting and empowering place for those affected by cancer. Promoting joy and laughter throughout the health journey of body, mind and spirit is our primary purpose and calling," according to organizers.

"It makes me feel brave and strong," said one girl who underwent 37 weeks of chemotherapy before completing her treatment in July of 2017. "Yeah, kids beat cancer."

A woman, who diagnosed last November, said having breast cancer "is a journey."

"It does take you down. It takes your legs right out from underneath you," she said. "But the journey's never over. It's a battle."

WTVR CBS 6 anchor Reba Hollingsworth served as emcee and WTVR CBS 6 anchor Tracy Sears led the Lilly Pulitzer fashion show featuring child cancer warriors. Greg McQuade and Laura French also attended.

"This is a club no one wants to join," Tankersley said. "But when they find themselves in the situation, they need to find out who their sisters are."

Click here to sponsor a cancer patient or to get more information about the group.