For 12 years, the Virginian Review has published its “Raising Cancer Awareness” special section, which includes tributes in memory and in honor of those who have been affected by cancer.

And, each year, the newspaper has donated proceeds from the special section to a local cancer charity or individual.

Recently, the newspaper presented its 2020 donation to Surviving and Giving Back, a local cancer charity that has provided support to countless individuals and families fighting the fight against cancer over the past several years.

Surviving and Giving Back was the brainchild of Highlands resident Becky Downer and the late Dee Dee Simpson, who, despite dealing with her own cancer struggles, consistently prepared care packages and contributed to others in need as they walked their own road of cancer treatments and recovery.

Even after Dee Dee’s health prevented her from taking an active role in the organization, Becky continued the mission of Surviving and Giving Back in her honor, but contributions and the group’s ability to contribute  to others has been significantly impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

She has continued to provide support to others in need, but has found the pandemic has significantly impacted both donations and the ability to buy items provided in care packages to cancer patients.

“It’s really been hard over the past few months, as we’ve not received the donations we have in the past and have had a really hard time purchasing items we’ve always provided to cancer patients,” Becky said. “Things like hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes are either nowhere to be found or have gotten so expensive there’s no way we can purchase what we need.”

Surviving and Giving Back is always accepting contributions to help their mission of helping others in need in our community.

Surviving and Giving Back has an account established at Highlands Community Bank where individuals can make monetary donations.

Contributions or donations can also be mailed to Becky Downer, attn. Surviving and Giving Back, 2704 Jackson River Road, Covington, Va. 24426.

For more information on this organization, call Becky at 540-691-6116.


The Virginian Review has donated proceeds from its recent supplement, “Raising Cancer Awareness,” to Surviving and Giving Back, a local cancer charity. Pictured, Virginian Review General Manager David Crosier, left, presents the donation to Becky Downer. Surviving and Giving Back was the brainchild of Downer and the late Dee Dee Simpson. (Gavin Dressler Photo)