The Chester Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. held a breast cancer event called “Sisters United for a Cause: Breast Cancer Does Not See Color” last weekend at the Media Borough Hall in Media. This was the first time the sorority hosted this event. About 75 women attended.
“We really wanted to bring awareness about this illness not only our sorors, but also the community,” said program planning chair of Delta Sigma Theta Chester Alumnae Chapter Carolyn Clayton. “Under our programmatic thrust of physical and mental health we wanted to just bring this information to women of our community. African American women are dying more from this disease than any other race. If we have more awareness, we can be more prepared, detect things earlier, and hopefully change those statistics by doing so.”
The speakers at the event included breast cancer survivor Kathy Dawson of Living Beyond Breast Cancer LLBC, Faith Mutale of University of Pennsylvania Hospital, and Kerri Conner, author of “My Mommy Has Breast Cancer, But She Is OK!”
Conner, who is an advocate of breast cancer, has been affected personally by the disease. At 41-years-old her mother was diagnosed with an advanced and aggressive form of breast cancer. At 33-years-old Conner found out she had stage three breast cancer; ten years after her mother. Both women are cancer free today. Their determination and support for each other is what inspired her book about breast cancer.
“The inspiration behind the book comes from me wanting to share my story with other women who are going through the same thing that I went through,” she said. “I wanted something that was going to encourage and inspire not only children, but families to never give no matter what comes your way. I wanted to educate our children and that’s what the book does as well as brings awareness about breast cancer to the community.”
In addition to the speakers, there was a special flower presentation for breast cancer survivors and people who were affected by the disease. There were also informational vendors on breast cancer.
“Having an event like this is very important to me and it does empower me,” said assistant financial secretary of Delta Sigma Theta Chester Alumnae Chapter Yolanda Hughes. “I volunteer at a lot of other breast cancer organizations, so I wanted to bring that to the sorority because a lot of women are dying from this disease.
“I lost my mom, my aunt, and my cousin at such a young age to breast cancer, and I was in a state of fear because I wondered if I would also get the disease at a young age, but what I found is the more involved I became with other organizations, I met breast cancer survivors,” she added. “That was important to me, because no one in my family has survived breast cancer. This is a disease that is affecting everyone, but people can beat this disease if given the proper information on it.”