“Save the Women, Not the Boobies” was a success despite Hurricane Sandy heading towards the very church basement that it was held in, the event went on. Mrs. Cynthia Turnquest Jones, Delta, teacher, member of Mamaiam and community organizer planned this event. She went on to share her journey as the daughter of a mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She introduced Tracy Dixon, a physicians assistant who has worked at Harlem hospital for the last 16 years. Tracy spoke to the audience about parts of the breast, common misconceptions as it relates to breast cancer as well as basic information about mammograms. Tracy did not forget to let us know the statistics that are not so publicized such as breast cancer is the second most fatal type of cancer (lung cancer being the first) and that every 3 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.
When diagnosed early, women are able to make better decisions regarding treatment and/or surgery. Breast cancer is not what kills women, it is the spreading of cancer throughout the body. The age that most women should be when beginning to get annual mammograms are 40, unless other factors exist such as a prevalence of cancer in ones family.The age range of the audiemce was about 6 years old (children of women who attended) to 87 years old. Women shared their stories and concerns as well as asked questions regarding information they wanted to know.
There was an array of healthy desserts. Cynthia originally planned to have hot food and dishes available to those who attended. In an effort to encourage good health, the menu was changed to include fresh fruit (strawberries, granola, rasberries, blueberries and pineapple), yogurt and honey. As she mentioned, a very important factor of dealing with breast cancer is healthy food. Along with the fresh fruit was cookies and beautiful cupcakes provided by Cupcake Cutie Boutique (see link for more details). Beverages were pink grapefruit soda and rasberry ginger ale. Donations were collected for an organization called “Hairless 4 Her Awareness, Inc”. A link is provided to learn more about this organization as well.
The ambience was amazing. Although it was very grassroots, it was effective. The wealth of knowledge discussed, the stories that participants shared and the love that it was delivered with was not insincere. I recited a poem called “Think Pink” which is available to read below. October 31st is days away, there are still very few or no commericals on TV that address the issues that breast cancer cause. Progress has been made in terms of receiving a whole month dedicted to it however, we still have more work to do.
As women, so much as our value and “Womanhood” has been defined by aesthetic values and the media. Many women have and will continue to choose to die versus having a boobie removed. These women need encouragement and support. They need support and information. They do not need this only during the month of October but year round. Please visit the sponsors of this wonderful event by clicking on their links. Feel free to comment, reblog and share your stories.
Think Pink by D.D. Wright
To be a woman is to think pink,
soft petals, weak strength.
In honor of women, mothers and great grands,
aunts, sisters and girlfriends,
today is the day that we salute YOU,
in humility and honor of you.
Because of you, we all seek the truth.
Statistics say that 1 in every 8 women
will develop this disease,
causing a lack of self-esteem,
a disturbance of peace.
Breast cancer invades bodies and communities
using as a host, a beautiful lady,
to spread its fury to families.
Think hot fusia pink, dilhuted with tears,
a woman struggling to live,
with an abundance of fears.
“My sons, daughters, husband, those years,
how do I go from being filled with pink light
to standing right here,
in the darkness of unblinding facts?
Will this take my life away?” I ask.
The doctors suggest me removing my boobies,
cutting off the breath of cancer
preventing it from spreading through me.
Surely, this is a battle within my soul.
Have boobies been defined as making a woman whole?
My education, my degrees do not stop the ignorance placed on me
My mind playing tug-of-war, anxiety tugging at my ability to sleep.
What about the hope that pink is supposed to exude in me?
Will I still be pretty?
In a black strapless dress?
Will my husband, children, potential spouses
be able to accept me with one less?
I march on, my life versus 1 or no boobies should not be a hard choice to make,
my grandmother chose her boobies and loss her life for God’s sake.
My mother chose her life, lost the boobie and discusses it while baking cakes.
Being in the lineage, doubles the chances and the stakes.
Breast cancer is not a condtion that I will allow to take
me away from the world or my family!
A pink voice for beautiful women is what God wants me to be,
determination running through me non hesitantly,
I choose to remove the boobies!
How is that for a reply?
I choose to live and NOT die!
For those not inspired by my outcry
or those who believe that their boobies define their lives.
Young children, grown men and women
beg you to remember that your beauty lies within.
Superficial things can not compare to what you represent,
let the boobies go so that you continue to ascend.