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Alabama fans are taking over Atlanta for the Chick-Fil-A kick off game against Duke on Saturday, but one Alabama fan in particular had a lot of obstacles to overcome in order to watch the tide roll.
WAAY31 met up with this self described Bama tailgating family in Atlanta on Thursday. The big group of fans come from all over North Alabama and even some other states.
"In our tailgating crew we've got people from North Alabama. I'm from Florence. We've got Decatur, Moulton, Fort Walton Beach, we've got Tennessee," said Katrina Vince.
For over a decade these Bama fans have tailgated together, becoming more like family. But the last year hasn't been easy.
"It's still tough but she's a warrior," said Vince.
The warrior Vince is talking about is 75-year-old Bettie Lawrence. Her faces lights up when you bring up the topic of Alabama football and the self described 'Nick Chick' is decked out head to toe in Alabama colors, buttons, and even had big A's painted on her nails. Looking at the jovial 75-year-old, you'd never know the battle she faced the last year.
"I've been battling breast cancer and it's been tough," said Lawrence, along side her husband. The two have been married for decades.
Lawrence hasn't missed an Alabama home game since 2009 and never a season opener. So when she had a double mastectomy two weeks ago she told her doctor one thing.
"I've got to be here yelling for our team!," said Lawrence.
She cant raise her arms very high just yet and only had her staples from the surgery taken out three days ago. She's still bandaged up, but nothing was stopping her from getting to Atlanta to see her tailgating family and the Crimson Tide.
"My Alabama folks sent stuff to my hospital room telling me cancer chose the wrong person," said Lawrence.
Cancer sure did choose the wrong person. Lawrence said a mammogram helped detect her breast cancer. She encourages all women to have those done regularly, because it can be the difference between life or death.
Lawrence and her crew will start tailgating at 10 a.m. outside of Mercedes Benz Stadium. She signed off with a big Roll Tide! From everyone at WAAY31 we wish Bettie the best of luck in her battle.
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