Christy Knotts: Courage through Adversity
By Bonnie Helander

Spotlight on Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In our troubled world, it is always such a blessing to receive unexpected kindness from a stranger.  Melanie Denney-Haas, publisher and owner of Southern Woman Magazine, experienced such kindness when her truck broke down in Alabama as she, her mom, son, and nephew were returning from a trip to Florida.

An on-call towing company, Knotts Wrecker Service, towed Melanie’s vehicle to its Phenix City location. Since it was the weekend and her truck could not be repaired immediately, Melanie needed to figure out a way for her family to get safely back home to Tyrone. Concerned for their wellbeing, Christy Knotts, who owns Knotts Wrecker Service with her husband, Kevin, offered to drive the family home in her own car!  And the following week, Christy arranged to drive Melanie’s truck to LaGrange to be repaired.

On the drive to Tyrone, Melanie and Christy had a delightful conversation and bonded over their mutual faith and trust in God. Christy shared her powerful story of receiving a frightening breast cancer diagnosis in 2013 at the age of 39. The cancer was considered triple negative, stage three – not hormone or estrogen-induced – one of the worst types of breast cancers, with few treatment options.

The same year Christy was diagnosed, her father-in-law also learned he had cancer. Christy helped as much as she could as his caregiver until his death.  Even though she was exhausted from her cancer treatments, Christy tried to hide the severity of her disease from her two children, Kyle and Blaire and continued to maintain a normal schedule for them because Kyle, age six at the time, was especially afraid she was going to die, as his grandfather did.

For two years, Christy endured a double mastectomy, 16 rounds of chemotherapy, 35 rounds of radiation, and a Latissimus Dorsi flap procedure that took muscle from Christy’s back to replace in her breast area.

Since her diagnosis in 2013, she has had a few “scares” with spots showing up on various scans. One such scan showed suspicious spots on her pancreas, but later tests didn’t find any troublesome areas, which Christy attributes to prayer and the grace of God. While she sometimes gets worried and fearful about her future, her husband and children keep her focused and “present.” No matter what the future outcome of her health challenges, Christy knows that God is ultimately in control. 

Christy grew up in Phenix City and met her husband, Kevin, in 1998. They were married in 2000. Christy first worked in the healthcare field as a certified insurance coder. She even worked for a while at the Saint Francis Hospital Breast Cancer Center in Columbus, GA, which gave her some understanding and insight when she received her own cancer diagnosis. Christy is thankful that an AFLAC cancer policy and good health insurance, provided by the doctor she worked for in Columbus, supplied the financing her family needed to meet the exorbitant costs of her cancer care.

 After her father-in-law’s death, Kevin and Christy took over his towing service and started another business, Knotts Collision Auto Body Shop. Kevin manages the day-to-day at Knotts Collision, and Christy oversees Knotts Wrecker Service. She is on-call 24-7 for those who need their services.

Christy takes one day at a time and is thankful for each day she can enjoy with her family. Son, Kyle, is now 16, and he and his dad, race dirt late model cars at the East Alabama Motor Speedway, where you will find Christy in attendance for each race. Daughter, Blaire, is married and has three children, so Christy is appreciating the joys of being a grandmother as she welcomes her 50th birthday in September.

When asked for advice on how to stay focused and not give in to fear and worry, Christy, says, “Have faith in God and stay strong. If it wasn’t for my faith, I don’t think I would be here.” 

As the nation highlights Breast Awareness Month in October, Christy emphasizes that all women should schedule a mammogram screening each year because it truly can save lives. If you get the dreaded diagnosis of breast cancer, Christy encourages you to keep your faith strong and have a positive attitude to see you through. As she reflected on her own experience, Christy observed, “I don’t know why I got cancer, but God knows and maybe it is for me to help other people to put their faith in the Lord and trust Him, no matter what the obstacles.”


Every October, people across the U.S. focus on ways to increase awareness of breast cancer and raise money for breast cancer-related organizations. Here are some ways you can show your support for the cause.

Decorate pink pumpkins for an online contest and let people vote for their favorite.

Raise money for breast cancer research with a community car wash. Recruit volunteers to wash cars, and ask for donations.

Have a pink party girls’ night! Provide fun ways for your guests to accessorize with pink. Boas, nail polish, wigs, anything you can think of!

Hold a pink raffle each day in October. Include information about breast cancer screenings with the giveaways.

Hold a pink raffle each day in October. Include information about breast cancer screenings with the giveaways.

Host a Lunch and Learn. Provide foods and beverages, and invite a breast cancer survivor to speak about why prevention and early detection are so important.

Sponsor a pink bake sale. Recruit people to make pink treats. Donate the proceeds to a breast cancer treatment center in your area.

Organize a community yard sale. Ask participants to donate part or all of the money they earn to support breast cancer research.

Organize a community yard sale. Ask participants to donate part or all of the money they earn to support breast cancer research.

“Sock it” to breast cancer! Ask family, friends, and co-workers to wear pink sock and even give them as gifts!

Organize a “Pinknic.”Offer a free lunch for employees and bring in a mobile mammography vehicle so women can get their yearly breast cancer screening. Give incentives to women who take advantage of the opportunity.

Hold a silent auction with donated goods from local businesses. Send each business owner a pink thank-you gift.

Have a “pink” elephant exchange. Ask friends, family, or co-workers to bring in pink items to swap with each other.

Brighten up your home and office with bouquets of pink flowers.

Throw a sign-decorating party where attendees can decorate breast cancer awareness signs to place in their front yards. Provide pink pens, ribbons, poster board, and other materials.

There are hundreds of local and national foundations and events to support breast cancer. Don’t forget to check your area for all the opportunities available!