Lakesha Ball was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2017, and before the year was out, she had found another lump, which exacerbated the worries she already had about her health and her life.
The 42-year-old mother spent nearly two years undergoing treatment at the University of Maryland Proton Center. At the end of it, she was so joyful to be declared cancer free that she nearly ripped the center’s cancer-free celebration bell right out of the wall.
“When it came time for me to ring the bell, I got there super early. I was super excited. My whole family was there,” Lakesha says. “I stepped in front of the bell, and I threw my hands up, and I said, ‘Thank you, Lord,’ and everybody started screaming, and when I grabbed that string on the bell, I wasn’t trying to take those people’s bell out of the wall… yes I was.”
Lakesha says it was her faith in God that helped her endure her treatments and believe that she would make it through this difficult battle. “These crosses, you’ll probably see me with them every day because he did it for me. He did it for me,” she says.
Ringing the bell was a healing moment, a moment of catharsis that has given Lakesha and so many others like her a new sense of freedom. Lakesha screamed, stomped her feet, and shook her whole body back and forth as she fiercely rang the bell.
“I could not stop,” she says. “All that pain, that agony, everything that I’ve been through, I released on that bell when I rang that bell. When I walked out of that clinic that day, I am free, that’s all I can say is I am free.”
Luckily, Lakesha will be able to look back on this happy memory for years to come, as her daughter had the foresight to catch it on video. She also posted it to Twitter, where it has been inspiring countless others. To date, the post has received more than 68 thousand retweets and nearly 300,000 likes. The post has since made its way to Facebook and other social media as well.
Thankful for the happy ending to her story, Lakesha now hopes she can reach out and help other women going through the same struggle.
Check out the video below to see an excited Lakesha ring that cancer-free bell with more spirit and intensity than we’ve ever seen.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?