Foundation Celebrates a Trailblazer’s Legacy While Supporting Women Battling Breast Cancer

Shown is cancer survivor Kealiah Smith with organizer Terri Cooper

Last Saturday, a local foundation celebrated life, legacy and the fight against cancer.  Today in America, breast cancer continues to be a major health risk for all women, but is much more devastating for Blacks.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Black women and white women get breast cancer at about the same rate, but black women die from breast cancer at a higher rate than white women.”

The Edith Marie Foundation (EMF) was established in October of 2016 in memory of Edith Marie who passed away on July 1st of that year from breast cancer. The nonprofit organization provides financial assistance for breast cancer patients’ basic living expenses such as housing, utility payments, and nutritional assistance.

Cooper, the youngest of four children, says, “The foundation was created to continue the legacy and love that my mother shared with everyone she touched. My mother was a minister and she truly believed in spreading God’s word and his message of love and hope.”

She adds, “Although we provide supportive services to breast cancer patients, we are not just about helping to pay bills. Our goal is to inspire and provide hope, encouragement and love despite what they are going through.”

What is unique about EMF is that focus is on helping women battling breast cancer right now.  “There are various not for profits that are focused on raising funds to find a cure or even help pay for medical bills related to treatment. We are unique because we focus on proving the things that money can’t buy – inspiration, love and compassion,” said Cooper.

Cooper is proud to say that each of her siblings provide some form of community service in honor of their mother, who was as a woman of faith that believed in not only saving souls for Christ, but helping anyone who crossed her path.

The 2019 Edith Marie gala included dinner, an awards ceremony honoring “Breast Cancer Warriors,” live auction, music, plenty of dancing and fun. Funds raised go towards the continued mission inspired by its namesake.  In the words of Edith Marie, “Having Cancer was never about me, it was about me helping someone else.”

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