NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) -- Over the next few weeks, Barbara Welch will be devoting a lot of her time to a play that tells her story.
"My friend discovered she had a form of cancer, aggressive breast cancer. Mine happened to be a different form, stage 3 ovarian cancer," Welch said. "She helped me to survive what I had to go through by allowing me to know what she went through."
That friend was Ida Watson-Freeman.
"Who better than a best friend to walk me through what I had to go through?" Welch said.
The play focuses on Welch's struggles with her treatment and her best friend's support, strong ties that survived long after Ida lost her battle with cancer.
"I was still in treatment when I went to her funeral," Welch said.
That bond between friends translates into a play -- Welch hopes -- will give others the initiative to make sure they're healthy.
And she's not alone in thinking it might work.
"If [people come to this play] haven't been checked, including me -- and I'm gonna go get checked -- I'm hoping they'll go get checked. It could happen to anyone," cast member Stanley Knox said.
"You may have a lot of people who may think 'it won't happen to me' or 'it doesn't run in my family' but you could still be affected by it. I think it would be great for the area to bring awareness to north Mississippi," cast member Tonya Metcalf said.
Metcalf plays Welch in the play. In fact, many of the cast members and church volunteers say the message behind the production is one of spiritual strength.
"Especially when you're going through any type of trauma, that's one of the times when you tend to lose faith if you're not reminded," cast member Scherrita Tucker said.
That faith, Welch says, has kept her going long after Ida lost her battle.
"A lot of times, I wish she could have seen this, but she didn't get to. I still feel some type of consolation that I'm still carrying on her legacy of love through what I do," Welch said.
The play, titled "Cancer: A Common Bond" will be performed at the Magnolia Civic Center in New Albany on Oct. 13.