by Lynn Jones-Turpin – When it comes to cancer diagnosis’s in the African American community, African Americans are named as high risk in every genre. From breast cancer, to prostate cancer, to pancreatic cancer and more, African Americans are dying at an alarming rate. Black Women are disproportionately affected by obesity, while Black men are afraid to discuss cancer health issues with their family members. To challenge and dispel cancer myths and rumors, PROTalks (Prostate Research Options, Opportunities and Outreach) held their last event of the year with a food distribution and breast cancer awareness event on the campus of the American Legion Post 197 on the Northside.
The entire day was dedicated to giving back to the community with food for families, a breast cancer awareness summit and a National Institute of Health (NIH.gov) “What does covid-19 mean to me,” art contest for ages 13-19. The day’s schedule of events started with a Farmshare/Congressman Al Lawson, Jr. food distribution where more than 900 individuals drove through for a pop your trunk and receive grocery allotment. By noon, the team was ready for their inaugural breast cancer event where women received gift bags, a catered lunch and info from expert breast cancer physicians. Participants asked questions and heard from Navy Veteran Vanessa Payne shared her personal breast cancer journey, “I have no history of breast cancer in my family. Although I was stage one and had to have radiation. I’m thankful for the doctors and the team that helped with my recovery. I get joy in telling my story too, saving one life can save two,” said Payne.
As the day ended, five students from the DEM Kidz program presented their covid-19 art contest to the community to judge a winner. The students had two weeks to create an art project or submit an essay to shed light on the Covid-19 virus affects on their family and friends. Shown are the breast cancer event speakers Dr. Beverly Roseberry, Dr. Lindsay Gardener and Vanessa Payne with their ‘thank you’ gifts.