Deanna King, 'pink pumpkin lady,' succumbs to breast cancer
36-year-old Saint John mother was an advocate for breast cancer awareness
Deanna King, a Saint John advocate for breast cancer awareness, who came to be known as the pink pumpkin lady, died on Thursday after a nearly year-long battle with the disease.
King's story went viral last October when friends and family decorated her front lawn on the city's west side with more than 60 pink pumpkins in a bid to lift her spirits after a rough few weeks of chemotherapy and radiation.
King posted a video of the pumpkin patch and sent it to the Ellen Degeneres show to spread the word about the importance of early detection. It was viewed more than 100,000 times.
She made such an impact on so many lives, it's important to understand that she did not lose the battle — she fought, and she won.- Deanna King's obituary
"She saw herself as a survivor, as did everyone who felt the effects of her heroic efforts worldwide," her obituary states.
"She made such an impact on so many lives, it's important to understand that she did not lose the battle — she fought, and she won."
King leaves behind a husband, Michael King, and a seven-year-old daughter, Ashlynn.
Her story has moved strangers, like Natasha Hunter, to post condolences online.
"I did not know her but have been following her story for the last several months," wrote Hunter. "She has been and will continue to be an inspiration for all of us."
There has also been an outpouring of tributes on social media.
"Once she dealt with the initial shock [of her diagnosis], she stood tall and was determined to face what was coming. She did that with every ounce of grace and dignity that most of us wouldn't have had," Kim McIsaac posted on Facebook.
"Deanna King you amaze me. This disease did NOT get you. You had it, You fought it and now you have left it behind. You are an example of strength, courage and beauty and you can be sure that you have left a huge footprint on the hearts of so many," McIsaac wrote.
"Sweetest woman I have ever, ever known," Terri Kingston posted on Facebook. "Thank you for the light you brought into our lives."
King passed away at Bobby's Hospice, surrounded by loved ones.
Visitation will be held at Brenan's Bay View Funeral Home on Saturday and Sunday and a celebration of her life will be held Monday at the Church of the Resurrection at 11 a.m.