Happy Monday! My grandmother Dorothy affectionately known as “Nanan,” was living with breast cancer when she made her life transition on January 8. Nanan was 95 when she learned she had it and decided not to have any surgery. She was taking a pill as medication to support her healing process.
My other grandmother Frederica Stanley Roberts Leeke (affectionately known as “Freddie”) lived with breast cancer from 1989 to 1996. When Freddie died, I made a commitment to use my artwork to honor her breast cancer journey. At first, I started participating in art exhibits sponsored by George Washington University’s Breast Cancer Center in the late 90s.
In 2001, I connected with Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts (www.smithfarm.com) and trained to be an artist-in-residence who works primarily with cancer patients in hospital settings. My training allowed me to work as an artist-in-residence with many breast cancer patients at Howard University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, and Holy Cross Hospital from 2003 to 2009.
Three years ago, I decided to teach a free yoga class honoring breast cancer awareness for my Kind and Gentle C-OM-Munity Meetup group (http://yoga.meetup.com/584) in D.C.’s Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park during the month of October. In 2008, I created the annual Frederica Roberts and Dorothy Gartin Breast Cancer Awareness Yoga Weekend (free classes held in the Park) in October. This year, I will host a series of online and offline events. Stay tuned for more information about these events in the fall.
Today, I want to ask all the ladies to take care of themselves by conducting regular monthly breast exams and getting an annual mammogram. If you are a loved one or friend of a lady, please support her in doing these things. It would be a real blessing. Click on the links below for more information:
- Breast Health: How to Perform Monthly Breast Exam – http://www.natracar e.com/help_ for_schools/ pdf_files/ how_to_examine_ your_breasts. pdf
- Breast Cancer – http://www.womenshe alth.gov/ breast-cancer/
- Mammograms – http://www.womenshe alth.gov/ FAQ/mammograms. cfm
Also, if you have time, send love and light to anyone impacted by breast cancer. Go one step further and support an online or offline breast cancer campaign or event such as:
- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.’s Hattie McDaniel Cancer Awareness (Sigma is my sorority) – http://www.sgrho192 2.org/page. php?page_ id=124141&parent_id=115399
- Ford Warriors in Pink Program (February) – http://www.fordvehi cles.com/ warriorsinpink/
- Avon Walk – (April to October) – http://walk. avonfoundation. org/site/ PageServer? pagename= walk_homepage
- Susan B. Komen Race for the Kure – http://ww5.komen. org/
Enjoy your day and second week of 2010!
Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, and Healthy Living,