Welcome to another year of courageous stories about breast cancer survival. My brother and I would like to take a moment to share with you what Sisters Journey means to us and what we think it meant to our mother, Linda White-Epps.
Sisters Journey is about bringing awareness of breast cancer and its devastation to the community. Our mother wanted to give women of color support and hope at a time when she felt they had none (there were times when she felt this hopelessness for herself). She always believed that if you were an advocate of your own body that early detection was the key to saving lives.
Those of us who are not breast cancer survivors have no idea what it is truly like to be one. Just like those of you whom never lost a parent and a best friend have any idea how difficult that is. We can only imagine and support one another. But as children of a survivor, we know you need support because…We have seen how often you are touched, poked and tested. We knew how much you didn’t like it, but you would tolerate anything just to stay alive, just to be here, with and for your children.
We continued to watch the fear in your eyes every time you went to an annual doctors visit. You were afraid they might say “you have cancer all over again,” even though you feel you have done everything you could not hear that ever again. We also noticed in your eyes the celebration of another year of survivorship, especially when you get past five years and you think you are free and clear of cancer for good. YOU THINK YOU MADE IT!
After watching our mom struggle through her years of surviving and then her fight to the end, we feel our mother died with dignity and God in her heart. She did as much as she could for those that she knew and even those she didn’t.
This calendar was more than just an idea, discussion, or topic that our mother liked to talk about. It was her passion! And every year once the calendar was complete, you would think she would be able to relax, but she would get started on the next year. Now that it has been almost a year since she passed, we realized that this calendar was not only a constant work in progress but also her legacy.
Please join us in congratulating the survivors in this year’s calendar on their courage, strength and the willingness to help others by letting their remarkable stories be told. May God bless all of you!
Dawn White-Bracey and George T. Epps, III