In light of Breast Cancer Awareness month, TWU’s Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority hosted Survivor Stories, a Pink Week event that invited four breast cancer survivors to share their experiences.
These women included TWU faculty members, parents of TWU students and community members. Sigma Lambda Gamma lists one of its philanthropic efforts as breast cancer awareness and celebrates Pink Week every year as a way to educate community members.
Executive Director for TWU’s Center for Women in Business Dr. Tina Mims began her story by saying: “I’ve survived being held up at gun point, I’ve survived a car crash where three people died and now I’ve survived breast cancer for three years and eight months.”
Sharing her story about being diagnosed right after her father’s death, working as an adjunct professor at TWU, and defending her thesis while undergoing chemotherapy treatments and recovering from a double mastectomy, Mims shared her hope for women in the future.
Mims said: “Today’s technology is different than when I had a friend die of this in 1996. She was 34 years of age when she was diagnosed and she died by the time she was 40. Today’s technology for recovery treatment is so much better, but ladies and gentlemen in the room, I want your generation to stop having one in eight women having breast cancer. It’s been one in eight for decades and the reason is there is only early detection, that’s it.”
Early detection alerted another survivor who spoke at the event of her stage-two breast cancer. Registered Nurse Ann Roberts learned through a mammogram about her cancer, one she almost did not get.
Roberts said: “I was almost not going to have my mammogram done. I had a lot on my plate in life at that moment and I was ready to put it off. Whenever you want to put off things, especially diagnostic tests, don’t No matter how bad things are, get it done. Mammograms take maybe an hour out of your life. Just taking that pause for that one hour saved me because I was going to wait until the fall to have it done and by then [the cancer] probably would have been invasive.”
Maria Jackson, who recently finished her battle with breast cancer and now claims the title of a one-year survivor and 11 year survivor Tammy Baily were also invited by Sigma Lambda Gamma to share their stories.
Baily ended the night by saying: “I just want to say to the other three ladies that spoke before me that I really applaud you all. Because it’s something to go through breast cancer and it’s another thing to go through and come out still smiling and able to talk about it.”