Cuyahoga County, OH. From the National Advocacy group Susan G. Koman, women's organizations across the globe raise awareness daily about the impact of breast cancer. Women who have been affected share their horrific stories, struggles, and triumphs. Through every teardrop, these women and their families are not afraid to help others who have experienced the same situation - rather than cry "Why me," they stand in solidarity as one "us."
On Saturday, October 7, 2023, at Garfield Heights Metro Parks, the Circle of Pink organization will hold its annual walk from 12 noon to 3 p.m., followed by a Gala Fundraiser at the Mediterranean Event Center on Sunday, October 15, 2023, at 4 p.m.
"It's all about coming together as a sisterhood to share stories, lift each other, and comfort those going through what we have been through. When you have gone through something, you better understand what others may go through. We are here to help," explained Archelle Bloodworth, Breast Cancer Survivor, Founder of Circle of Pink Sistership and Executive Director. "My mom is the Co-Director, Vanessa Hinton, of our organization. She is also a survivor of Breast Cancer," said Bloodworth.
Approximately three years ago, Bloodworth and her group joined another group to aid with this process. Through a mutual meeting, Bloodworth met the organizers of a nameless group (Dr. Tenisha Mack and Annette Nurse) that was holding annual walks for awareness and education purposes. "We honestly did not have a name for our group. My aunt had cancer, and I was concerned about the impact that cancer had on families. I was and am a concerned family member. We started walking every year. It was not about a name or trying to receive recognition; it's about the purpose," said Dr. Tenisha Mack, who lives in the Garfield Heights community. "Because I am active in my community, I met Annette. Annette is a nurse by trade with a major interest in Breast Cancer. We got together with the Circle of Pink Sistership and decided to do this work together. Last year, we had over 100 people participate and walk. We had resources, healthy food, and vendors," said Dr. Mack.
As the women's bond grows stronger, we look at the process of discovering the emotions when people are told that they have cancer.
"For me, it was devastating; I went to the clinic and remember getting a call from my nurse from Metro. I was at work, and she asked me if I could talk, and I said yes. She proceeded to tell me that I had cancer. I cried, and I cried. Then, I had to realize that I could beat the odds. Of course, my life changed; my diet and my health. I am a praying woman who had to lean on God and my family. My experience with chemo was awful - it's mental. I lost my hair. Family members and friends asked if I wanted them to shave their hair. I did not want them to, but I appreciated the gesture. I began to wear wigs at the time. Chemo was a long, tiresome process, but I got through it with God's help," said Bloodworth.
Bloodworth's mom, Vanessa, also went through cancer treatment. "When I found out about my cancer, the nurse called me. I was driving. I wanted to know immediately because I wanted to catch early bodily detections. Yes, you endure lots of stressors and anxieties. You learn to pray for the best," added Hinton.
As the four women enter their fourth-year Breast Cancer Annual Walk, they will work together to build an education resource consortium to aid families. "Our families are important. We must be sure that everyone thrives. The road is not easy - we will go through the fire - but how we come out matters," says Bloodworth. "We work well together. We don't try to outdo each other. This walk is purpose-driven, and we are excited. To share each other's company for a common cause is rewarding and empowering, added," Dr. Mack.
The Circle of Pink Sistership Breast Cancer Awareness Walk is free and open to the public. Interested parties can join them on Saturday, October 7, 2023, at noon at Garfield Heights Metro Park Iron Spring Shelter. Interested individuals can also visit their website at Circle of Pink Sistership.
The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many organizations are focusing on raising awareness about secondary breast cancer. For more information about how to get involved or attend an event, readers can contact BreastCancerNow.org.