Joan Garner, a lesbian and Fulton County Commissioner, returned to the board on Wednesday as her colleagues congratulated her on bravely fighting breast cancer. 

Garner, diagnosed earlier this year, underwent treatments throughout the summer, even rushing from one on June 26 to celebrate with other LGBT activists when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. But as she rejoined the commission – Wednesday's meeting marked Garner's return to the sessions – her colleagues proclaimed it " Joan P. Garner Appreciation Day in Fulton County." (Watch below)

"Fulton County joins the nation in recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to promote awareness about breast cancer, to encourage women and men to seek screenings as recommended and to emphasize support and admiration for Commissioner Joan P. Garner as she courageously faces, and ultimately wins, her personal battle with the disease."

The resolution also calls Garner "a leader and advoacte for health" who serves as a "pillar of hope" for women fighting breast cancer.

Garner was touched by the proclamation.

"I am truly surprised and humbled. I just am speechless," Garner said.

She also urged women to conduct self-exams to detect breast cancer as early as possible. 

"I encourage you to do what you need to do to make sure that you are taking care of yourselves," Garner said.

Garner became the commission's first-ever openly gay member when she won election in 2010. She coasted to re-election in 2014. Her partner, Jane Morrison, is a Fulton State Court judge.

 

Fulton County joins the nation in recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to promote awareness about breast cancer, to encourage women and men to seek screenings as recommended and to emphasize support and admiration for Commissioner Joan P. Garner as she courageously faces, and ultimately wins, her battle against the disease.

Posted by Fulton County Government on Wednesday, October 21, 2015