By Verlie McAlister Edwards

September 2019 was an extra special month for my family. My cousin, Barbara Sneary, completed 12 months of chemotherapy and “rang the bell!!” If you aren’t familiar with this tradition, it’s when cancer patients “ring the bell” following their final treatment. Barbara noted that “ringing the bell” symbolized a final closure to breast cancer. This was especially meaningful for her because it was her third round of breast cancer and her sixth cancer diagnosis in the past 20 years.

In late September our family and close friends gathered in Grapevine, Texas where Barbara lives for a weekend celebration that included quality time together, tailgate party to cheer on the Texas A&M University Aggies and a sunset sail around Lake Grapevine (a surprise for Barbara). Special personalized “survivor cookies” provided dessert following an onboard barbecue dinner.

Barbara’s recent treatment journey began on September 18, 2018 and ended on September 20, 2019. Throughout these 12 months she experienced numerous ups and downs. From an emergency port removal surgery to lymphedema and neuropathy in her feet and hands, yet she continued to work two jobs and maintained her normal lifestyle (as normal as it can be while receiving treatment).

As a strong Christian, Barbara noted that her faith in God and the Sneary family’s constant prayers and support enabled her spirits to be lifted while providing personal guidance throughout a long year of treatments.

Barbara believes the future holds endless possibilities as long as she remains faithful in serving as God’s child through word and action in both her personal and professional life.

The photos shared here show the great fun we had celebrating Barbara’s victory over cancer.

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