Mother and daughter raise awareness for breast cancer and spina bifida

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"Being different is okay. Suffering is okay."

MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – We continue to bring you stories of breast cancer awareness. This week, meet Melissa Tagle and her daughter, Makenna.

Makeup artist, Jen McNally-Burks, and hair stylist, Ceelie Hetzel, say it all started with a vision to bring awareness to a disease that hits home, while also giving back to one local family who is fighting the battle.

“Breast cancer is something that’s affected a lot of people we know and love. This is just an incredible way for us to come together, and support a family who is absolutely amazing,” said McNally-Burks. “I hope that people will see Melissa and McKenna and just see the strength that comes from their faith and from their family.”

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For McNally-Burks and Hetzel, it was their mission to capture the strength of Melissa and Makenna.

“It was so sweet how many times Makenna, she’s only three years old, told her mom how beautiful she was. ‘You look so pretty, you look so pretty.’ And she just, I don’t know, it was so awesome to watch,” said Hetzel.

“It was so impactful seeing the strength of this mother who wasn’t going to let anything stand in her way of her being there for her family,” explained McNally-Burks. “And teaching her daughter that we’re going to stand up, we’re going to fight, and we’re going to get through this together.”

Stage three, triple negative breast cancer came knocking on the doors of Melissa Tagle’s life back in July.

“All I want to do is be a mom to my kids and the thought that this disease, something, is going to strip me away from being with them? That’s the hardest.” said Tagle.

Melissa says it is her strong faith in God that helps her through the toughest days. She says her daughter, Makenna, is a match made in heaven.

“She was born with a neural tube defect called spina bifida,” said Tagle. “She’s paralyzed below the knee, and her movement is very limited, so she’s not like other kids her age.”

October, along with breast cancer is also Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Melissa says it is a mother-daughter mission to raise awareness to both diseases and to serve as an icon of hope.

“Being different is okay. Suffering is okay.”

A fundraiser has been planned to help the Tagle family. You can buy a raffle ticket for $50 and enter for a chance to win prizes.

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