Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K

To be completely honest, cancer is a topic that in the past I have tried to avoid at all costs. It’s a scary word. I don’t want to think about the fact that it is a real. I don’t want to think about potential tragic outcomes.

Last week, I met a woman that changed the way I look at cancer. She is a survivor.

When I arrived at the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K, I wanted to find someone that had survived a form of gynecological cancer to photograph. As I walked toward the start of the race I saw a group of women in teal tutus. The backs of some shirts read, “SURVIVOR.” I had found my subject.

Joie Godfrey had a smile on her face as a friend painted a teal ribbon onto her cheek.

Joie Godfry, 46, a Kroger manager from Woodstock, Georgia, visits Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2015, to walk in the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K for gynecological cancer awareness. After returning from her honeymoon, Godfry discovered her cervical cancer had returned for a third time. She has been in remission for three years since then.
Joie Godfrey, 46, a Kroger manager from Woodstock, Georgia, visits Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2015, to walk in the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K for gynecological cancer awareness. After returning from her honeymoon, Godfrey discovered her cervical cancer had returned for a third time. She has been in remission for three years since then.

Godfrey has had three battles with cervical cancer. Each time she faced intense chemotherapy and radiation, and each time she fought back. She went into remission for six years after her first battle. When the cancer came back for a second time, she decided to get a tattoo to remember to keep hope. In between her second and third bouts with the cancer, she got married, and the cancer was discovered yet again on her return from her honeymoon.

She has now been in remission for three years.

 

Joie Godfry, 46, a Kroger manager from Woodstock, Georgia, visits Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2015, to walk in the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K for gynecological cancer awareness. Godfry wore teal accents because it is the color used to signify gynecological, or GYN, cancer.
Joie Godfrey, 46, a Kroger manager from Woodstock, Georgia, visits Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2015, to walk in the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K for gynecological cancer awareness. Godfrey wore teal accents because it is the color used to signify gynecological, or GYN, cancer.

The group she walked with in the 5K comprised of fellow GYN cancer survivors and their family and friends. They leaned on one another for strength. One particular relationship that I found touching was between Godfrey and her mother, Vicki Granville. Vicki drove her daughter to her treatments. She also helped plan her daughter’s wedding while she battled. The women walked the entire race with huge smiles.

Vicki Granville, 65, a retired preschool teacher from Marietta, Georgia, walks with her daughter, Joie Godfry, 46, manger at Kroger in Woodstock, Georgia, at the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K race supporting GYN cancer in Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2015 . Granville drove Godfry to her chemotherapy and radation treatments through each of her three rounds of cervical cancer.
Vicki Granville, 65, a retired preschool teacher from Marietta, Georgia, walks with her daughter, Joie Godfrey, 46, manger at Kroger in Woodstock, Georgia, at the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K race supporting GYN cancer in Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2015 . Granville drove Godfrey to her chemotherapy and radation treatments through each of her three rounds of cervical cancer.
Joie Godfry, 46, manger at Kroger in Woodstock, Georgia, left, pauses to take pictures of the Savannah skyline with her mother, Vicki Granville, 65, a retired preschool teacher from Marietta, Georgia, at the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K race supporting GYN cancer. Godfry has had cervical cancer three times, and likes this particular organization because it encompasses more than one cancer women can contract.
Joie Godfrey, 46, manger at Kroger in Woodstock, Georgia, left, pauses to take pictures of the Savannah skyline with her mother, Vicki Granville, 65, a retired preschool teacher from Marietta, Georgia, at the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K race supporting GYN cancer. Godfrey has had cervical cancer three times, and likes this particular organization because it encompasses more than one cancer women can contract.
Joie Godfry, 46, a Kroger manager from Woodstock, Georgia, celebrates her completion of the Help the Hoo-Has 5K in Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2015, by flashing her tattoo that reads, "hope." Godfry decided to get the tattoo after her cervical cancer returned after six years in remission.
Joie Godfrey, 46, a Kroger manager from Woodstock, Georgia, celebrates her completion of the Help the Hoo-Has 5K in Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2015, by flashing her tattoo that reads, “hope.” Godfrey decided to get the tattoo after her cervical cancer returned after six years in remission.
Joie Godfry, 46, a Kroger manager from Woodstock, Georgia, visits Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2015, to walk in the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K for gynecological cancer awareness. Godfry had cervical cancer on three occasions and has been in remission for three years.
Joie Godfrey, 46, a Kroger manager from Woodstock, Georgia, visits Savannah, Georgia, on September 26, 2015, to walk in the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K for gynecological cancer awareness. Godfrey had cervical cancer on three occasions and has been in remission for three years.
Joie Godfry, 46, manger at Kroger in Woodstock, Georgia, left, walks with her mother, Vicki Granville, 65, a retired preschool teacher from Marietta, Georgia, at the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K race supporting GYN cancer research. Godfry said her mother helped her throughout her three battles with cervical cancer, and even planned most of her wedding for her in the process.
Joie Godfrey, 46, manger at Kroger in Woodstock, Georgia, left, walks with her mother, Vicki Granville, 65, a retired preschool teacher from Marietta, Georgia, at the Help the Hoo-Hahs 5K race supporting GYN cancer research. Godfrey said her mother helped her throughout her three battles with cervical cancer, and even planned most of her wedding for her in the process.

Thank you Joie, and everyone in the Warrior Women group, for letting me join you in this race. It was eye opening, and I am so thankful for your candor. Yes, cancer is a scary word, but it doesn’t always mean the end.