Inspired by personal testimonies and stories of overcoming breast cancer, attendees at the 5th Annual CBBC Celebration and keeping it Pink Fashion Show, held on Saturday, Sept. 26, experienced stories of triumph and living and thriving in life after breast cancer. Held at the Hope Center on the campus of First Institutional Baptist Church, the annual event draws attention to the importance of awareness, detection and treatment relating to African Americans and breast health.
The annual CBBC celebration provides education and awareness through members sharing their personal stories drawing attention to treatment options and the unique challenges African Americans in treating breast cancer. The event helps promote better understanding of health care disparities among African American breast cancer patients. Through their personal stories, CBBC members help educate the community on breast health issues including the powerful story related by Allison Brown and Cousin Simone Gray, two family members both battling breast cancer, and winning. ABC 15 Susan Casper returned as emcee of the event for a second year. Attendees were treated to a preview of the November production of The Journey: Living Cancer out Loud, by Dr. Olga Davis. The vignette featured a portrayal of CBBC member and breast cancer survivors Allison Brown, portrayed by actor Tenisha Baca and Janet Shobe portrayed by Larissa Brewington.
Nellie Daniels, a two-time breast cancer survivor, said life has new meaning to her and that she choose to take positive actions like attending celebrate recovery ministries and participating in CBBC and other coalitions.
Donna Johnson said this about her diagnosis, “We always say it will never happen to me and then it happens. I had this slight pain in my right breast near the areola, and my primary care physician thought it necessary for a 39-year-old to have her first mammogram.”
Ann Walker’s incredible journey began one day sitting in church. “Believe it or not my journey began in church one Sunday morning in October 2011. My pastor came out of the pulpit pointing his finger in my direction, as he stood in front of me saying the Holy Spirit wants me to pray for you right now. God is up to something in your situation.”
The Keeping it Pink Fashion show, produced by Joy Johnson, owner, A Joyous Events Planning and Management, LLC., showcased eight CBBC members and survivors including Gina Bowser, Charla Clicquot, Donna Johnson, Janet Shobe, Allison Brown, Simone Gray, Deloris Mix, and
Amber Wilson. Wilson stunned the crowd in a purple dress sheath with a cowl neckline and a chiffon overlay by popular Italian designer, Vince Camuto. DeLois Mix, first diagnosed with breast cancer in her left breast 28 years ago, and again just a year ago, served up “classic” in this three piece ensemble comprised of a black camisole, black pants and a black and white swing coat with a belt in the back. All outfits for the show were generously donated by Dillard’s at Chandler Fashion Center. Read more about each of their diagnosis and their journey at www.cbbcaz.org.
The event was made possible by the dedication and commitment of the CBBC members, board of directors – Michele Halyard, Marion Kelly, Gina Bowser, Mieko Vernon, Madelyn Thomas; sponsoring organizations of The Phoenix Chapter of the Links, Inc., Gamma Mu Boule, and the Mayo Clinic . The Goode Wright Gentles Agency provides event production, marketing , and public relations support to the Coalition.