Adrian Moppins, Selma native, and 20-year Wal-Mart Associate, is a breast cancer survivor. She was first diagnosed in February 2009. Moppins is a strong supporter of the Relay for Life, a campaign that helps to raise awareness and money for cancer research. The Relay begins April 29. -- Desiree Taylor

Survivor had history with cancer

Published 11:57pm Thursday, February 17, 2011

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles spotlighting area cancer survivors and families affected by the disease. These stories are an effort to raise awareness and promote the annual Relay for Life-Dallas County.

Sitting in the cold hospital room with a patient’s gown tied snug around her waist and staring at the wall, Adrian Moppins knew something was wrong; she had been waiting for the doctor’s diagnosis for a little more than 15 minutes, and she was getting worried. She had no idea the information she would hear on Feb. 5, 2009, could change her life forever.

Adrian Moppins heard the words every person dreads to hear: you have cancer.

“On that day the doctors told me that I needed to do an ultrasound, but I was confused,” said the 62-year-old Selma native and mother of one. “They saw a spot in my left breast and they wanted to do a biopsy to make sure. I didn’t cry. I just wanted to know what the next step was.”

Moppins had a normal, happy childhood. Born in Jefferson County and raised in Selma, she lived with her father, stepmother and three older siblings. Her father took three jobs working at Sears, Colonial Bread and the Selma Mall as a janitor to support the family before losing his battle to bladder cancer in 2003.

“His death had a great effect on me and it’s a day I will never forget,” Moppins said. “We were extremely close and we talked two to three times a day on the phone. My dad’s co-workers would tell me all the time that I was the only thing he talked about. I had a happy childhood, I was his ‘puddin.’”

Moppins, a Wal-Mart associate for nearly 25 years, has been dedicated to inspiring customers through her fight to end cancer since her diagnosis more than two years ago. She credits her faith in God and her husband’s commitment to her during a difficult time of chemotherapy and radiation, to her continued personal strength and healing.

“My husband would faithfully drive me to Montgomery for my chemotherapy three times a week and for my radiation every day, from January until July last year,” Moppins said. “I was just so sick, and if you’ve never been through cancer, you just don’t know what we (cancer survivors) go through.”

Currently, Moppins is cancer-free and happy. Lacing every word with a smile, her 4-foot frame projects liveliness much bigger than her size.

Moppins encourages both men and women to get involved in the Relay for Life, to donate and not take yearly screenings for granted.

“I’m very much a supporter of the Relay and I’m energetic about it,” Moppins said. “I encourage all women to please get their mammograms because skipping one can make a difference in your life.”

The annual Relay for Life-Dallas County is scheduled for April 29 at Memorial Stadium and is set to begin at 6 p.m.

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