Mother, daughter diagnosed with cancer one week apart. Community rallies to support family.

Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The Pearl River County community is rallying around one of its families after a mother and her daughter were diagnosed with breast cancer a week apart.

A benefit is planned to help Leola Barnett and her daughter Kelley Barnett, who received their diagnoses this month.

“It was something that just came up on the both of us, I had mine first then she found out about hers, within about a week or two apart we found all of this out, ” said Leola.

Leola underwent a biopsy test after nurses found a spot of concern during her previous visit and scan at Highland Community Hospital. A week later, Kelley noticed she had a lump on her body and immediately got it checked out by the staff at Highland Community Hospital. Leola was later diagnosed with breast cancer the same day Kelley was undergoing her biopsy. Three days after Kelley’s biopsy, she received a call from the hospital notifying her that she also has breast cancer.

While trying to take care of her mother, along with her 5-year-old and 17-year-old children, Kelley and Leola are now looking to get treatment at the same time.

“It’s very daunting, I’ve always taken care of my mother and I’ve always been the caretaker, now I possibly have to find someone to help out and take care of us as well,” said Kelley.

Kelley’s cousins Chris and Carrie Barnett and brother-in-law and sister Tim and Tina Love will host a benefit on Nov. 27 at the Carriere Masonic Lodge starting at 11 a.m. The family will be selling BBQ chicken plates with baked beans, potato salad and a slice of cake for $10. All proceeds will go towards helping Kelley and Leola receive treatments, cover traveling expenses and basic needs.

Residents are welcome to donate at the event and a donation site will be open to support the Barnett family soon.

Leola was more than happy to hear that her community was going to support her and her daughter as they battle cancer.

“I think it’s fantastic I’m glad to hear they are helping out,” said Leola.

With October being breast cancer awareness month, Kelley encourages everyone to get a mammogram and to do their part to bring awareness to breast cancer.

“It’s scary when you think about it, but for the community to come together, and help us out means the world to us,” said Kelley.