The King family showed its support for women during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October by bringing attention to this sometimes fatal disease and raising funds for Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. There was an informational assembly, bake sale, parade and pink day.
“The purpose of the assembly was to educate our community about breast cancer and to inform more of the female population to make healthy choices,” said organizer and teacher Felicia Jones.
Survivors of this disease had an opportunity to share their story and triumphs.
“I was diagnosed with in situ breast cancer in the first stage in 2004,” said teacher and 12-year survivor Beverly Allen.
When receiving this life-changing news some may experience denial, rejection, depression and anger.
“I had mixed emotions I felt mad, sad, and confused because I was 28 years old,” said Katina McCleney, a six-year survivor.
Being a survivor of breast cancer is an enormous feat. Sadly, some do not have the opportunity to be in remission and to be called a “survivor”.
“I felt good and was glad that everything was over because it was a long time and it was hard to go through,” said McCleney. “So once I finished everything I was very happy and thankful to God that I was still alive.”
Breast cancer is a genetic disease but just because it does not run in a one’s family, does not mean that a female or male is off the hook.
“I was diagnosed with stage three B breast cancer” said McCleney.
It is not every day that someone wants to actually help educated the youth about the importance of cancer, nor is it every day that presenters see students willing to listen. Teens need to know that they are also at risk for this disease, and they should be aware so they can take care of themselves.
“I wanted to start having the breast cancer awareness recognition here at Martin Luther King because the mortality rate in the African-American community with women having breast cancer was high,” said Jones.