DAVID GUNTER Feature correspondent

Mary Faux and her daughter, Laura Faux Donnelly, are breast cancer survivors who have 30 years of “survivorship” between them. During October’s observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the two are even more vocal than usual about the importance of mammograms as an early detection tool for all women. (Photo by DAVID GUNTER)

SANDPOINT — Mary Faux is wearing pink today. Yes, it looks absolutely lovely on her, but that’s not the reason she leans toward this side of the color palette.

For Mary, pink is a power color, a shout-out to everyone she meets that breast cancer can be beat. She ought to know — both Mary and her daughter, Laura Faux Donnelly, battled breast cancer and won. The two women become especially vocal during the observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October.

“We have 30 years of survivorship between us,” said Laura, whose fight took place five years ago.

Laura was able to schedule all of her treatments in Sandpoint as she continued to work in the diagnostic imaging department at Bonner General Hospital. When her workday wrapped up, she walked down the hall for chemotherapy.

Staying close to home for treatment would not have been possible without the aid of Community Cancer Services, she pointed out. That organization was formed after one of the founders, Heather Gibson, fought her own eight-year battle with cancer before passing away in 2006. What Gibson found was that other cancer patients in Bonner and Boundary County were being routed as far away as Seattle for critical services.

Fueled by funding from the community and energy from friend and co-founder, local nurse practitioner Cynthia Dalsing, Gibson and CCS began to fulfill a mission of providing education, information and direct support to people with cancer and their families.  

“Heather Gibson had a vision for having cancer treatment in Sandpoint,” Laura said. “I’m so thankful she had that vision.”

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For more information about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the importance of breast cancer screening, visit:

To learn more about support and services available locally through Community Cancer Services, as well as how to donate to or volunteer with the organization, visit:

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