Hopkins blown away by Southern support

Published 2:26 am Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Red Level resident Beth Hopkins said that she could not have gotten through her cancer journey without the help of the community of Covington County.

In June of 2016, Hopkins was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma.

“I had lived here for about 14 years,” Hopkins said. “And I worked at Gitty Up and Go for 13 of those 14 years. I found out about the cancer and the doctors told me that it was a treatable cancer if I had a mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy.”

On the advice of a local resident, Hopkins made her way to Georgia to seek treatment.

“(Jimmy Fowler) advised me to call the Cancer Treatment Centers of America,” Hopkins said. “So I went there and I did all of my treatments there. It is an absolutely amazing place. I don’t know how I ever got so lucky. I had never had insurance before and then President Obama made me get insurance, so when I finally got it, it was quite a journey.”

Before starting her journey, Hopkins said that she had never met anyone personally who had cancer.

“I was 58 when I was diagnosed and I had never met anyone who had cancer,” Hopkins said. “That March before the June I found out I had cancer, my niece went to the doctor with a stomach ache and it turned out that she had terminal uterine cancer. We lost her in seven weeks. She was 39 years old and then one month to the day after that I was diagnosed. It was really scary.”

Hopkins said that after telling her story to her boss, Roy Mohon, he went ahead and put a jar on each register at Gitty Up N Go. From June 2017 until July 2017, the community raised more than $10,000 for Hopkins.

“He put a jar out right away,” Hopkins said. “The people that I worked with did yard sales and had a picnic in the park for me. It was just one thing after another. I had people coming to my house and dropping off money because they knew that I was going to have a long journey.”

As a native of Chicago, Hopkins said that she was overwhelmed by the support of the people in her community.

“Up north, that would never happen,” Hopkins said. “My boyfriend was the one that lived here, but I moved from Chicago. I guess since I worked at the gas station, I knew who everybody was, but there was no lack of love from the people in this community. The customers just outpoured all of their love to me and it was truly amazing.”

Hopkins said that cancer truly changes the person who endures the battle.

“I remember a sign that is at the treatment center in Georgia,” Hopkins said. “It goes along the lines of, ‘This is a time in your life where from now on, your life is going to be remembered in two parts, before and after,’ and that’s pretty much how it is. I look different, my hair went away, I’m not as strong as I used to be and my life is different, but the community lifted me up in a way that I never thought people would and I am thankful for that.”

Hopkins will travel to the Cancer Treatment of America in Newnan, Ga., for her three-month check up. She has been in remission for two years.