Garden helps Alamance County woman during cancer battle

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GRAHAM, N.C. -- It was the most stressful time in a Piedmont woman's life. A bout with breast cancer. But from that, beauty continues to bloom.

"The mammogram didn't show it, I found a little place myself and asked for a mammogram," said Vickie Walker.

Walker, a longtime Alamance County school teacher, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.

"The doctor called me at home at 8 o'clock on a Thursday night. When I saw the caller ID, I thought, 'This can't be good.'"

Walker had always dabbled around with gardening, but dreamed of a grand, glorious garden. But what she had in mind was pricey.

"Then when we got the diagnosis, it was just, ‘Let's go ahead and do it for sure; you don't know what’s coming tomorrow,’" she said.

During her 36 rounds of radiation, her friends and family got to work.

"I would look out of my windows and see them see them covered in brick dust and red dirt where they been digging and planting. I knew they loved me. It was a labor of love. Just no words to describe that, just overwhelming."

What they created and what Walker has tended to with so much love since then is her "survivor garden."

"It's my therapy. I love doing it. I'm thriving, like my garden. Other cancer survivors come here to enjoy it. It's just so peaceful and I'm so grateful for it."

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