African American Breast Cancer Alliance

Recent Articles

‘Loving Yourself’ healthcare event an enlightening experience

It’s scary to find out you’ve not been taking proper care of yourself
Responsible, elegant, determined, intergenerational, promising, informative: These are a few adjectives to describe the “Loving Yourself” event held March 19 at Heritage Senior Center in North Minneapolis. The event was promoted as a Breast Cancer Awareness event for African and African American women sponsored by Neighborhood Healthsource and many other community participants such as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, UCare, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, and the African American Breast Cancer Alliance. Approaching the venue, participants were greeted with the “Q”mmunity truck, a mobile health unit owned and operated by the Southside Community Health Services Inc. There was also a truck dedicated to providing mammography testing for women who were curious and willing. These health checkpoints were available to visitors before stepping into the “meat and potatoes” of the event. Participants were enthusiastically welcomed at an information table with personalized nametags, recyclable bags, and other small “thank you for coming” sponsorship items.

The main floor of the Heritage Senior Center houses a YMCA that is dedicated to helping those seniors who live in the residential space of Heritage and the local community. Continue Reading →

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Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, Year X does it again!

 

Amazing — we’re blessed to recognize that we have been given another day to try and get our lives straight. It really hits you when you look up and realize it’s been 11 years since April 10, 2003, the day Carol Fitzgerald died of breast cancer. This past weekend, the 10th annual Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund (CFMF) celebrated the legacy of Carol’s life with the benefit at the Metropolitan Ballroom Friday night in Golden Valley and the celebration of her life and work Saturday at Martin Luther King Center in Minneapolis. It’s not easy asking people you know and don’t know to trust you and help you with raising money and taking their time to benefit others. But that is what we are about with the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund. Continue Reading →

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What health legacy will you leave?

Upcoming health conference to address specific concerns of Black women
 
By Brandi D. Phillips 

Contributing Writer

 

Happy, healthy, family, friends, community, intergenerational, motivational: These are a few words used to describe the upcoming March 19 conference sponsored by Neighborhood HealthSource and many others. The conference is titled “Loving Yourself, Staying Well,” and those simple words seem to be a popular topic of conversation these days. Everywhere you turn, health topics are being discussed. Breast cancer is no exception. In fact, it is one of the biggest concerns in our community these days. Continue Reading →

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We did it again! — Ninth annual Carol Fitzgerald Fund announces grant winners

 

 

 

Ten years ago on April 10, 2003, we lost a great woman, Carol Fitzgerald. Thanks to great support from our community locally and nationally, we continue her work. With major spending cuts across the United States in funding the fight against HIV-AIDS and breast cancer and for urban education support, many voices are not being heard. Last Friday, April 12 at the Metropolitan Ballroom on a cold snowy evening in Golden Valley and Saturday, April 13 at Martin Luther King Park in Minneapolis, we carried on the mission to do our part with your continued help, through the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund (CFMF). Big Sy Huff was master of ceremonies; Hall-of-Famer Cris Carter, my sons All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. and Marcus Fitzgerald, and yours truly spoke passionately about the work of Carol Fitzgerald. Continue Reading →

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Getting to ‘The Root’ of hair loss

The impact of disease on hair

Conclusion of a two-part story

By Anika Robbins

Contributing Writer

 

Disease and illness, and in some cases the treatment of those illnesses, are also implicit in hair loss. Auto-immune diseases like lupus cause hair loss in up to 50 percent of those diagnosed. Diabetes, alopecia areata, and other such conditions also factor significantly. Those with type 2 diabetes are particularly prone to infection. Bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections of the scalp are common and can result in hair loss as well. Continue Reading →

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Getting to ‘The Root’ of hair loss

 

 

 

First of a two-part story
 

By Anika Robbins

Contributing Writer

 

 

Between lifestyle and grooming issues and breast cancer treatments, hair loss affects an estimated 21 million women in the U.S., according to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. Traditionally considered a “men’s issue,” women are debunking that myth at epidemic speed. With scant treatment options available, including transplantation or topical steroids, many women are resorting to natural remedies, including going natural,” i.e., wearing their hair free of chemicals. The natural hair movement has gained momentum nationwide, picking up speed in the Twin Cities.  

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Support group offers information and understanding to Black women with breast cancer

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Editor-in-Chief

 

The African American Breast Cancer Alliance (AABCA) was started in October of 1990 by a group of women who had been affected by or diagnosed with breast cancer. This year they will celebrate 22 years of African American women in the Twin Cities who have supported each other in facing and surviving breast cancer. “At the time that we met, [each of us] thought that we were probably one of the only Black women in the Twin Cities that had breast cancer,” says Reona Berry, founding member and executive director of AABCA. “We didn’t know about other women with breast cancer that were African Americans.”

They met to discuss issues and barriers that kept Black women uninformed about breast cancer. Many in the Black community prior to the 1990s saw breast cancer as a White woman’s disease, Berry explains, and it was a topic most people avoided talking about. Continue Reading →

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Breast cancer advocate tells of personal struggles

 

By Debra J. Stone

Contributing Writer

 

Reona Berry is a petite, quiet-spoken woman. She is a 22-year breast cancer survivor and one of the founding members, past president, as well as the executive director of the African American Breast Cancer Alliance, Inc. (AABCA). AABCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate and provide an emotional and social support system for African American women and men diagnosed with breast cancer and their supporters, assisting them in their breast cancer journey. During an interview with the MSR, Berry’s (RB) compelling personal story revealed how she became one of Minnesota’s strongest advocates for African American women, men and families in education and support for the fight against breast cancer.  

MSR: Tell us about your experience with breast cancer. Continue Reading →

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