Monica’s Hope 7th annual cancer awareness walk is Saturday

Published 8:40 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021

NATCHEZ — The seventh annual Monica’s Hope Cancer Awareness Walk is Saturday, Oct. 2, on the Natchez bluff, which is a fundraiser to support those who receive a cancer diagnosis.

The funds raised pay for transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and treatment centers and also helps out with copay and deductible payments.

“In all reality, you never know. That one doctor’s appointment that we were able to get them too could be the one that will save their life,” said Monica’s Hope Founder, Monica Smith. “We have a lot of people here in Natchez who may miss appointments because they don’t have the transportation or funds to get to Jackson, Baton Rouge, McComb or wherever their treatment is.”

Smith said she is a seven-year cancer survivor. Her mother is also a cancer survivor, but for her grandmother and father, cancer was fatal.

“Once I went through my bout with breast cancer, I thought about all the people who may not have family to help them through it like I did,” she said.

The $10 registration fee for Saturday’s walk helps fund Smith’s mission, which started seven years ago with her cancer diagnosis and continues to help people now that she is cancer free.

Children may join the walk at no cost and there will also be vendors to sell T-shirts, sweet treats, jewelry and other items at the registration site located behind the Natchez Grand Hotel, she said.

Registration starts at 8 a.m. before the walk starts at 9. Participants will make the trek down Broadway Street to Rosalie and back up to Madison Street approximately three times, she said.

There are teams of businesses who usually participate year after year.

“We typically have about 50 or 60 people,” Smith said. “Last year, I was thinking because of COVID not too many participants would come out but it was actually our biggest walk.”

This time, Smith said she is expecting about 17 teams from different businesses in the area to show along with any to register on site.

Guest speakers include Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson, Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry, Natchez Fire Chief Robert Arrington and Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten, she said.

Those who are unable to make it Saturday can still support the cause by calling Smith at 601-443-7998, she said.

Those who are need of help from Monica’s Hope may also reach her at that number, she said. “We screen applicants,” she said. “Right now, we do have funds available, so they can just give me a call and we can chat at that time.”