Secretary “Mama” Jones vows to beat breast cancer

Mr. Benton and “Mama” Jones (photo: Patterson Press)

When Patterson Principal Vance Benton and long-time secretary Linda Jones (known affectionately as “Mama Jones”) announced that they were having a “showdown” on Friday, October 17th, most teachers and staff members had no idea what to expect.

The “showdown”, as it turns out, was a contest to see who had the best bald head. As Mr. Benton showed off his shiny dome to a crowd of spectators in the Media Center, Mama Jones pulled off her head scarf to reveal that she too had no hair. She also revealed the reason: Mama Jones is battling with breast cancer and has lost her hair as a result of chemo-therapy.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States by the end of 2014. About 40,000 women in the U.S. will die from breast cancer by the end of the year. Yet there is also great cause for hope:  There are currently about 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

To raise awareness and money to combat this terrible disease, October has been declared National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On October 16th, students, teachers and staff wore pink to school to show their support for breast cancer awareness. Mama Jones’ announcement the following day brought the issue closer to home for many Patterson staff members.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, Mama Jones was upbeat and optimistic. “I’m gonna kick cancer’s a** before cancer kicks my a**!”, she declared to cheers and applause. Needless to say, Mama Jones won the contest with Mr. Benton, just as she has vowed to win her battle with cancer. After her announcement, dozens of teachers and staff members lined up to hug her and give her words of encouragement. Her daughter and grandchildren also came out to support her. Her daughter even shaved her own head in solidarity. Everyone in the Patterson “500” family admires Mama Jones for her courage and wishes her a speedy recovery.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s