TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Katina Levingston is a wife, mother, business owner, and woman of faith. The last descriptor helped Katina Levingston overcome the most significant obstacle of her life.
“My husband found a lump in my breast,” Levingston said.
Levingston and her husband Joe explained their feelings after Joe’s discovery and the subsequent breast cancer diagnosis.
“When I found it, I really thought it was something serious,” Joe Levingston shared.
“Just being told I had cancer was unbelievable to me,” Katina said.
In 2016, she underwent surgery and chemotherapy treatments, but Levingston’s faith was so strong she pressed on.
“Telling everybody else I was fine to keep everybody else good because I don’t want nobody to ever worry about me or to have pity on me,” Katina shared.
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She fought with a smile on her face. Levingston continued to run her medical coding business, showing up for her children’s activities, and investing in her marriage.
“Well, it brought us closer together,” Joe Levingston said.
Two years into her cancer battle, Katina decided to help others through theirs by creating the Tough Kookie Foundation. The foundation provides support, encouragement, resources, education, and advocacy for breast and childhood cancer survivors in the Texarkana area.
“I thought she was spreading herself a little thin,” Joe Levingston explained. “Then one night we were praying, and she told God, and I said, ‘That’s it. It’s over now.'”
That’s where her faith kicked in.
The foundation continues to grow. Levingston said in 2022, they raised nearly $170,000, with all of the proceeds helping cancer patients and their families.
Tough Kookie provides a wide range of assistance, from paying for mammograms and ultrasounds to providing financial support, meals, and pampering.
“I just want people to feel good about themselves,” Levingston said. “Because going through cancer, you don’t feel good about yourself.”
This remarkable woman said she is simply carrying on the tremendous legacy left by her grandmother, who taught her important life lessons during summers on their family farm.
“My grandmother was a giver,” Levingston recalled. “She gave everything, and I really wish she was here to see me doing the things that she sowed into me.”
The remarkable woman from Texarkana has advice for others who want to live their best life.
“Love on you. Love on your family. Laugh a lot. Travel a lot and just be the best you – you can be.”