I Heart Boobies part 2 spreads awareness of breast cancer and early detection
By Jenn Tyborski
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Beta Chapter at Roosevelt University and S.I.S.T.E.R.S. hosted the I Heart Boobies Pt. 2: The Fight Against Breast Cancer event to spread awareness of breast cancer and about early detection.
The event featured speakers from various breast cancer foundations, including Dr. Mable Alfred of the All About Pink Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., Harriett VanPelt of the What If Carolyn Y. Adams Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., and Erika Bracey, a breast cancer survivor.
Danielle Johnson, is the chairman of community service projects for AKA.
According to Johnson, the event aimed to reach out to younger students.
“Not enough people know about it or are concerned about it, and we wanted to reach out to the younger students to make sure that they know,” Johnson said. “The younger you reach them, the more educated they’ll be about the subject for the future.”
In the U.S., breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among African-American women, according to the American Cancer Society. Research from the Office on Women’s Health, suggests that African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than other ethnicities because tumors are not found until later stages, thus having less options.
According to Katrina Cotton, president of the S.I.S.T.E.R.S. chapter, the event was brought to campus when Nathaniel Ward reached out to Pamela Thompson-Hill this past summer. Ward is a community outreach representative, and sought out Thompson-Hill, advisor for the S.I.S.T.E.R.S. group, because he needed to find a campus organization geared towards women to host the event.
Other than spreading breast cancer and early detection awareness, students were able to obtain information about scholarships. One of the scholarships offered was from the All About Pink Foundation. The purpose of the scholarship is to allow students whose families are affected by breast cancer to afford a college education.
“It’s okay to talk about it, and to spread awareness that it’s not just a female disease, it’s a male disease,” said Seona Marshall, vice-president of S.I.S.T.E.R.S.
For S.I.S.T.E.R.S., breast cancer hits close to home. The group holds an event every year to support breast cancer, as many of the students in the organizations have family who are breast cancer survivors.
“It’s a project we work close with, as it’s close to our hearts,” said Taryn Davis, chairperson of programming for S.I.S.T.E.R.S. “We want to make this a tradition.”
Both Marshall and Cotton are daughters of breast cancer survivors.
“This is a great way to show [my mother] that there are people around her to support her,” Marshall said.
Thompson-Hill chose their organization, along with AKA, because they could represent the event to a group of community-based women.
“They wanted an organization that could bring out a crowd, and we are a community-based service organization,” Marshall explained.
According to Davis, who was one of the main planners of the event, they initially expected 50 people, but the turnout was above that number.
“The overall event was a success,” Cotton said.“[We] were pleased with the outcome and the amount of people we were able to reach.”
One way the group also works to spread awareness is through handing out “I Heart Boobies!” bracelets from keep-a-breast.org.
“This is just one way to raise awareness and ignite the importance of early detection in the [Roosevelt] community,” Cotton said. “However, it’s important to know that the fight for a cure is not over, but together we can overcome all obstacles.”
S.I.S.T.E.R.S. will host a meet-and-greet event Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in AUD 320. Students are welcome to stop by and learn more about the organization.