Fall brings about change…I love watching children line up at the bus stop with their new school clothes and book-bags with nervousness anticipating a new school year, the conversations I hear throughout the city and online of men frantically selecting their fantasy football teams gearing up for the first Sunday of football.
As the leaves begin to fall, it reminds me of the women living with cancer that are the mothers and wives to those men and children. As October harvests the season of Breast Cancer Awareness, it reminds me of my cousin Marsha. A #BossLady in her own right. She was the full package of beauty and brains. I saw her mostly in an image at my grandmother’s home while I lived there. Everyday I admired her college graduation picture from Tufts that sat on the television. Her huge “I did it” smile, the sparkle in her eyes and her stance that said…”I’m going to rule the world.” I felt motivated every time I saw it. When I was able to sit my college graduation picture next hers I felt like a star. Meanwhile, Marsha continued to excel receiving her MBA from the Wharton School of Business and had a very successful career in Marketing living all over the country. I would see her from time to time and she would say..make us proud cousin.
The last time I saw her we were attending my father’s retirement party. I knew that she had breast cancer a few years ago and heard she was doing better. As I watched her I realized she was taking in EVERY MOMENT. Even during one of my chatter mouth moments…she shhhh’d me with her eyes during my dad’s roast. As the music began to play we danced the night away. Her infectious smile was bright and her body flowed gracefully across the room all night.
Little did I know, cousin Marsha was living with cancer. For the second time at 42. The first at 37. Not to long after that night she transitioned. My cousin left a lasting impression on me to succeed and always give back.
The “Karen Cares FREE Mammograms and Massages” is dedicated to Marsha, my grandmother and the all wives, mothers and women who have been affected by cancer. It’s my way of giving back and promoting early treatment. Breast cancer is the most comment cancer among African-American Women and African American women have a higher incidence rate before the ago of 40. Early treatment can make all the difference in your world and the world of the women in your life. Not everyone can afford a mammogram (those with or without medical insurance). Please take advantage of this incredible FREE medical service that could save your life or the life of someone you love.
Peace, blessings and take care of yourself,
Karen Cares Free Mammograms and Massages” Have the Best Breasts of Your Life the Rest of Your Life: To nominate yourself or a woman in your community for a free mammogram…please submit your letter via email or you can send it via snail mail. We follow American Cancer Society guidelines, which recommend that all women have a mammogram by age 40 and then every year thereafter. We are unable to screen women who are younger than age 40, unless they have a doctor’s request. We are also unable to screen women if it’s been less than a year since their last screening mammogram.
Thank you to St. Vincent Mobile Mammography Program and Interscope Records
Send your letters :
Karen Cares “Free Mammograms and Massages”
C/O Karen Vaughn
21 East Saint Joseph Street
September 11 – September 23rd.
Please include your daytime phone number or the daytime phone number of the family you are nominating.