This week I got to spend the morning on Atl&Co. I had an interview with Christine Pullara Newton about my personal story with breast cancer and my work with Komen Atlanta. I was shocked to learn that African American women in Greater Atlanta are MORE LIKELY to die of breast cancer than women in the US as a whole. I have had the honor of working with Sisters of Promise to help with their mission to increase early breast cancer detection and improve survival outcomes for African Americans in Greater Atlanta. Being a native of Atlanta and breast cancer survivor, it’s important to me to help educate women on the importance of taking charge of your health and early detection. There are so many resources out there that people are unaware of — especially for people without health insurance or transportation. There is nothing that should keep you from taking care of your health.
Sharing my story has never been comfortable but I learned this was certainly necessary in order to save lives. I had my daughters with me and the most amazing friends in the world holding my hand every step of the way. Here is an excerpt from the blog I started during my recovery when I was unable to talk about it:
‘Everyone who knows me know that I’m extremely private with what goes on in my personal life, but on December 19, 2012 I received some news that rocked my world. I was diagnosed with breast cancer… (for a while I couldn’t say it) On that day, I couldn’t deal with it myself let alone share it with the world… ‘ Click here to read more beneaththepetals.blogspot.com
I have been in the fight for a long time with my mom being a three time survivor. She is the reason I chose to take charge of my health. I knew I had to be here for my daughters. They gave me strength to stay positive and focus on healing. Getting a diagnosis of breast cancer is not a death sentence. Early detection is key. I am still here because of early detection.
This past year I held an event at my showroom that I called ‘i Promise… to take care of me’. I created the i Promise campaign to encourage and support women in taking care of themselves, something we often neglect to do. I wanted to do more than just talk about breast cancer. I wanted to give women permission to take time for themselves and not feel guilty about it. The event was a successful shopping event where a percentage of the proceeds were donated to Sisters of Promise. Look out for our next i Promise event where we will find out if every woman kept their promise. Take a look at a few shots and the video from the event.