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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

The Comeback: Cookies and laughter

During this Mental Health Awareness Month, 13 News Anchor Andrea Morehead found that cookies and laughter are helping breast cancer thrivers, survivors, and caregivers cope with the anxiety of a potential setback.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — We’ve all likely heard the phrase: “It takes a village.”

That spirit is alive and well during this pandemic, as we use creative ways to support one another to make “The Comeback.”

In fact, during this Mental Health Awareness Month, 13News Anchor Andrea Morehead found that cookies and laughter are helping breast cancer thrivers, survivors, and caregivers cope with the anxiety of a potential setback.

“Very good. Very good. Yeaaaaaah!" says about a dozen women in unison, on a Zoom party to lend emotional support to each other.

“I am a member of the board for Pink-4-Ever, and I was a caregiver for a short period of time," says Karen Tolliver. The organization educates and empowers breast cancer patients and survivors.

During the web party, they all take part in an exercise of laughter yoga with licensed therapist NaKaisha Tolbert-Banks.

“We’re using the breathing techniques from our laughter to filter into our bodies and give us that healthy stuff that we need. As we’re laughing your endorphins are going to boost,” she said.

People with underlying health conditions can be stressed during the pandemic as they carefully monitor their emotions and actions to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

“I am a 2-and-a-half-year breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with triple negative in the left breast, right breast and HER-2-positive in the right breast, and I am cancer-free," says Nina Coley who combines multiple trips in one day instead of making mini-runs every day.

And this is a time for this group to laugh and connect with what makes everyone happy - cookies!

They name their favorite, like windmills.

"Today I’m sharing with you these fudge stripes that were given to me, and there’s only four in the pack," said one participant.

But what really means the most are the back stories.

Pamela Yancy is a breast cancer survivor. She says pressed cookies are her favorite.

"Not only because it tastes so good but because it’s a family tradition that’s been around for 50 years. As a child, every Christmas Eve I made pressed cookies for Santa Clause."

It’s an amazing act of vulnerability that lifts the spirit and touches the soul.

“I know all of us are facing all different things but this morning matters more than I though not just from a personal space but a collective space,” said Nadia Miller, board president of Pink-4-Ever,

So when you feel the blues, just laugh and go ahead and eat those cookies to remember the good times, and to create new ones.

“Very good, very good. Yaaaaaay," the women say in unison.

For more information:

R.E.D. Alliance

Pink-4-Ever

You can email Andrea at thecomeback@wthr.com with your COVID-19-related story of resiliency that can inspire all of us.

You can find more inspiring comeback stories by clicking here.