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In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women. Approximately 39,520 women are expected to die from breast cancer this year alone. Finding a cure for breast cancer is a battle with which every man, woman and child should be concerned! It is claiming the lives of our mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, nieces and in some cases our men! Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for nearly 1 in 3 cancers diagnosed in US women.

-(Facts & Figures) American Cancer Society

If you don’t personally know someone directly effected by breast cancer, that is if you yourself aren’t or haven’t suffered, than trust me you know someone who knows someone who has. Read the stories of these six individuals closely associated with breast cancer:

Deborah Bennett:

“My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 13 years old, and died a few months later. Losing my mom to this disease at such a young age was one of the most devastating experiences in my life. As cancer runs in my family, it’s imperative that I get a mammogram and sonogram every year. Having gone through two biopsies and living with fear until I received the results was like living in a jail cell.”

Shamika Sanders:

“My aunt had breast cancer. I remember when I first found out, all I could think was ‘how could this happen to a woman who has dedicated her life to God?’ Not that anyone else should be more susceptible but I thought they had a personal relationship. Then I realized that they did, because she beat it. She is currently in remission.

Leigh Davenport:

I was walking down 42nd street, headed to the salon when my cell phone rang.  I looked down to see that it was my mom, typical considering we talk almost every day.  I answered without hesitation, “Hey Ma”.  She said, “your granny has breast cancer.”  As tears sprang instantly from my eyes, my knees began to buckle, I held on to a pole that was holding up scaffolding and fell silent.  I knew my granny was getting older, but Breast Cancer sounded like a death sentence.  Thankfully, the cancer was stage 1 and was able to be almost completely removed through surgery.  My granny is diligent about going to the doctor for regular check-ups and I’m so thankful that through early detection we were able to avoid aggressive treatments.

My aunt Agnes Pierre passed away in 2002. She had breast cancer and another illness, Myasthenia Gravis, that contributed to her poor health. She was my mother’s youngest sister and was the first person I ever knew with Breast Cancer. The thing that stood out is that she was still in good spirits, even after having a mastectomy. She’s bake cake and pies when she had the strength and would make me blush with a dirty joke. We all miss her. My son was born just a few months after she died and I wish she’d had a chance to meet him.

K.O. Cancer! Breast Cancer Walk [PHOTOS]

Oretha Winston:

“My best friend’s mom battled for 5 years and won the battle. She succumbed to Leukemia but gave us the best mantra ever. “Practice each day to Live the best today and tomorrow will be great.”

A Black Woman’s Guide To Breast Cancer Awareness

Darnella Dunham:

“My aunt-in-law had breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy. She is now in remission.”

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