Pink pumpkins support neighbor’s battle with breast cancer

Published: Oct. 30, 2022 at 7:45 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Marylisa Crissman has spent decades as a nurse and helping other people, but a breast cancer diagnosis resulted in her being the patient this time. It is a personal journey that started when she discovered a lump and later found out she had bilateral breast cancer. She was diagnosed with it on September 24 and went in for surgery on October 11. It was that October morning when she discovered the presence of her neighbors in a way that took her breath away. “We were leaving to go to Avera for surgery at 7:30 am, and we came out of our driveway,” Crissman said. “The first thing I saw were these beautiful pink pumpkins and pink bows lining the street. It was just really amazing. It just gave me so much strength.”

Crissman planted the seeds of kindness without even realizing it. Known as a fanatic for pumpkins and decorations, she started a trend when teaching neighbors how to make painted pumpkins stand out with a few techniques. To show support during this difficult time, her neighbor Michelle Carlson, had a subtle idea that ended up having an enormous effect. “She taught me how to make my pumpkins look pretty,” Carlson said. “I thought we should maybe spray paint pumpkins pink!”

The gesture ended up being exactly what the doctor ordered and has done even more for the Sioux Falls neighborhood. Through the project, it was discovered that others in the neighborhood are affected in some way by breast cancer. “It was interesting to hear how many people in this small neighborhood have a connection and experience to breast cancer,” Carlson added. Thanks to some of the connections and spreading the word about this personal battle, Marylisa says staff at the Mayo Clinic have made contact for an appointment.