A Fitting Tribute
A new swing at Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville honors the memory of former Leland resident Leslie Blaylock.
The Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville has dedicated a new swing and garden to the memory of Leslie Blaylock of Leland. Local officials along with friends and family were present on November 8 for the dedication.
Blaylock was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in May 2019 and passed away on June 11, 2020. Her close friend David Mabry of Leland spoke at the dedication, along with others. He told those present about his lifelong friendship with Blaylock and why he went to the Town of Belville to ask about dedicating a swing to her memory.
Having been friends since high school, Mabry described Blaylock as a woman with many interests and hobbies. She was a yoga enthusiast and decided to turn her garage into a yoga studio. She loved music, so much so that she had purchased a bass guitar shortly before she was diagnosed. In addition to loving the outdoors, hiking on the beach and in the mountains, Blaylock also had a creative flair. She loved crocheting, painting, making pottery, fashion and decorating.
A few weeks after her diagnosis, Mabry and Blaylock were walking the scenic trails at the Brunswick Riverwalk. When they were finished, Blaylock sat down on a swing and lightheartedly told Mabry, “If something happens to me, I would like a swing like this in my honor.”
Though she fought heroically for the next year, the cancer was at stage 4 when they diagnosed it, making it much tougher to treat. Shortly before she passed away, Mabry told her he was going to take care of getting a swing put up in her memory.
The Town of Belville encouraged Mabry’s idea from the start. He started a GoFundMe fundraiser on Facebook, and it paid for the swing and the garden.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Early screening is imperative — if it is found early it can often be cured. Checking your family history is also important — if someone in your family has had it, your own risk nearly doubles.
Be sure to stop by the Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville next time you get a chance. You can enjoy a myriad of activities including nature trails, playgrounds, a Veterans Memorial, water access and fishing. All this is available year-round. Maybe even take a few minutes to sit on the new swing and take in the beauty of nature while remembering those dear to us who were taken from us too soon, including Leslie Blaylock.