Words by Viv

Warrior In Pink


When young mother Vivian Mabuni was diagnosed with breast cancer three days before Christmas, she struggled to know how to respond. How do you tell your children you have cancer? How do you allow yourself to be vulnerable and ask for your family’s support? And how do you continue to trust God? Through her battle, cancer patients, family, and friends will find perspective, hope, and an honest look at what it is like to be diagnosed with and treated for cancer as well as encouragement to know that God is present in our pain. Warrior in Pink: A Story of Cancer, Community, and a God Who Comforts provides an honest look at what it is like to be diagnosed with and treated for cancer · includes ways to encourage yourself and others · shows you how to invite God into your pain.




The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

Deuteronomy 31:8

She had it all—described as an “Asian Martha Stewart.” Her home, the food she cooked, the clothes she wore, the clothes her children wore—all flawless. But then doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. My friend tried to reach out to her, others around her tried to help, but she refused them and shut down emotionally.

On Wednesday morning six of us met in the food court at the Irvine Spectrum mall halfway between our homes. Located between Los Angeles and San Diego, Irvine, California, boasted being the safest city in the nation. Our wicker chairs circled around a large, round metal table surrounded by potted flowers and towering palm trees. The setting described well the nature of our group and our self-appointed name: The Oasis. Week after week we unpacked our bags and filled the table with notebooks, four-color clicky pens, Bibles, coffee, and water bottles. And week after week trust grew steadily like the palm trees around us. We began to unpack the deeper places in our souls as we shared our struggles and secrets. Our choice to take time from our busy weeks to invest in building our relationship with God and each other yielded the blessing of a true oasis. Our group became a refuge and a place to refuel. Conversation came easily and we welcomed questions about the Bible. We laughed often, sometimes shed tears, and inevitably would go off on rabbit trails that eventually took us back to what we had learned in the Bible. What most groups covered in one week, we spilled over to a month.

This particular Wednesday morning Elaine shared about the Asian Martha Stewart. I leaned in to hear more. Her voice grew quiet as she struggled to share the last part.

“She couldn’t handle how her body changed. She couldn’t hold her perfect world together. She ended up committing suicide and left behind her husband and two kids.”

The story gripped me. I had never met the Asian Martha Stewart but could relate to her desire of wanting everything together, of being the strong one, of going inside when challenged with emotional pain, of not wanting to be a burden to others. I could see myself closing off from people as she did.

The conversation probably continued around me. But in that moment I sat still. I heard the background voices and sounds of the food court, the trays and ice machines, chairs being pushed into tables, paper wrappers being crumpled. Right then, I chose to pray. “God, if anything like that ever happens to me, I purpose right here, right now, I will let others in.”

I prayed this in October, two months before my life careened from the doctor call no one wants:

“You have cancer.”

And looking back,

that story,

that prayer,

that moment,

that decision.

It made all the difference.


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Vivian Mabuni, longtime staff member of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), writes of being diagnosed with breast cancer as a young mother and finding hope in her faith in Warrior in Pink: A Story of Cancer, Community, and the God Who Comforts (Discovery House, Apr.). She and her husband, Darrin, serve in Cru’s Asian-American ministry, Epic Movement. Mabuni blogsabout life, love, and God and has been scoring local and national radio interviews, including a scheduled live appearance on May 8 on WTKF-FM in North Carolina
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Warrior in Pink is a must read for anyone battling cancer, or those deeply connected to those who face that scary diagnosis. Real, raw, and chock full of God’s outrageous grace, Vivian Mabuni humanizes a difficult journey. Her story will inspire you.
— Mary DeMuth, author of The Wall Around Your Heart
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This personal look at Vivian’s journey though cancer explores how God prepares us, takes care of us and grows us through life’s difficult moments and seasons. Learning to accept the vulnerable role of being the receiver is part of God’s plan for all His children. Let this book inspire you as you journey with Vivian as she discovers God’s love through the body of Christ and her family during a difficult season.
— Kay Yerkovich, author of How We Love
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Vivian’s story is captivating and an essential read in that every one of us will be or already has been touched by cancer. Her strength, honesty and hope give us the tools and tenacity we need to walk through cancer (as the friend, the family or the patient). In the midst of pain and fear Vivian brings us to hope and thanksgiving and a deeper walk with the God she loves. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone wondering what comes next when life hands you a diagnosis you had not planned. She is a brilliant, wise and giving woman. Her words heal. Thank you, Vivian!
— Reverend Tracey Bianchi, Pastor for Worship and Women (Christ Church of Oak Brook), Author of Mom Connection and Green Mama
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When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she is thrust into a foreign world. Most, like me, look for information that will help them navigate their new reality. Warrior in Pink is just the book I wish I’d been able to find. Vivian Mabuni writes with transparency, warmth, and depth, and I believe all who read her special insights will be blessed and encouraged.
— Robin Lee Hatcher, author of A Promise Kept (2014) and Beloved (2013)
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Whether you are a cancer-sufferer, a survivor or someone whose world has been devastated by the cancer of another, Warrior in Pink will convince that you’re not alone. Vivian Mabuni tells her story in honest and helpful detail, guiding us through her learnings and revealing her discoveries of God’s provision within her pain. Here’s a hopeful tale for all who’ve spent any time in the waiting room of cancer.
— Elisa Morgan, Speaker and Author, She Did What She Could and The Beauty of Broken, Publisher, FullFill, President Emerita AND MOPS International
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Books about journeying through cancer are plentiful, but Warrior in Pink is different. Mabuni’s honesty and faith are refreshing and uplifting. Highly recommended!
— Colleen Coble, author of Rosemary Cottage and the Rock Harbor series
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There’s nothing quite like a cancer diagnosis to hurl a person into a deeper quest to understand and trust God. That happened to Vivian Mabuni. In Warrior in Pink, she invites us behind the scenes to enter that battle against breast cancer with her and to discover with her the power of friendship and the strength God gives his ezer-warriors, no matter what color they’re wearing.
— Carolyn Custis James, author of “Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women”