By Mikala McCurry
Sisters Network Incorporated is the African American Breast Cancer Survivorship Organization established to increase awareness of the devastating impact breast cancer has on the African American community. Karen Eubanks Jackson, a four-time breast cancer survivor, founded the organization in 1994 in Houston, TX.
“There are some significant health disparities in breast cancer statistics when it comes to Black women. 42% of African American women are more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. There are also high statistics of the diagnosis of specific types of breast cancer in Black women more so than white women,” Montgomery Chapter President Lathesia McClenney said. “We want to help put information and resources out there to dispel the fear and make sure African American women know that a diagnosis should not be accepted as a death sentence. Treatment options have advanced significantly in the last three decades.”
Currently, there are more than 25 affiliate chapters in the country. The Montgomery Chapter, led by Chapter President Lathesia McClenney, is the first affiliate chapter in Alabama.
“I’m a two-time breast cancer survivor. My first diagnosis was at the age of 29, and my second diagnosis was last year during the height of COVID,” McClenney said. “Throughout that process, I learned about Sisters Network. Since there wasn’t a chapter in Alabama, I reached out to the national chapter to get a chapter started. God nudged me to pursue the establishment of Sisters Network. My testimony, and the testimony of other survivors will give hope to others impacted by breast cancer.”
Since its launch in March of 2022, the Montgomery Chapter has been working to increase awareness of their chapter and the overall goal of Sisters Network Inc. The chapter is currently hosting virtual support groups for its members.
“There’s nothing like communicating with someone who has gone through what you’re currently going through. It lets you know that you’re not alone, and you have someone to talk to when you’re ready,” McClenney said.
One main goal of the Montgomery Chapter is to implement some of the programs in place at the national level, such as the Breast Cancer Assistance Program, which enables the chapter to provide financial assistance for individuals going through breast cancer treatment. The chapter plans to open the application process for this program in Spring of 2023.
The leadership team of the Montgomery Chapter includes President, Lathesia McClenney; Vice President, Sonja Val McCarden; Secretary, Patina Moss and Chaplain, Rev. Coretta Pitters.
Members of the Sisters Network Inc. do not have to be breast cancer survivors. Interested individuals can fill out a membership profile to become a chapter member or a volunteer. For more information, contact the Montgomery Chapter at (334) 300-0625 or [email protected] or visit http://www.sistersnetworkinc.org/.
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