October is breast cancer awareness month, and of all the women in the world , 2.8 million have some form of breast cancer. It's a disease that cripples many women with fear, but as their battles begin, their fight for life brings them into a new family. A family of survivors.
"You have to have something to lean on when you're going through chemo," survivor Beverly Whitaker said.
These women have each other. "Women of Wisdom" -- a breast cancer survivor support group aimed to help raise awareness for African American women.
"The lack of knowledge is what's so frightening," survivor Avis Gary said. "African American women are not as knowledgeable about breast cancer maybe because of our cultural background or maybe we don't go to the doctor as often as we have to."
The group meets once a month to share stories.
"Eight years ago, I was in denial," Gary said/
...and show support.
"If I would talk to you about cancer and you were not a survivor of cancer, you would have absolutely no idea what I was talking about when I told you how I felt when I left chemo," survivor LaDalia Logan said. "It really is a help, because you can find people to talk to that's been though what you're going through."
Breast Cancer is the toughest cancer most women will face in their lifetime. 'Look Good, Feel Better' is a program to help survivors put on a new face and fight the disease. Some have been fighting for years.
"A year after I was finished with chemotherapy, I found out I was pregnant," survivor Lynne Williams. "I was determined to have the child...Shes eleven-years-old now...I just want women to know that... because it's not a death sentence."
So as these women spend day after day battling this disease, they pull through because they have each other.
"That was the most affordive thing... was to have someone else that said: 'Well, I went through it, and I'm still here',"survivor Beverly Whitaker said.
If you or a loved one is facing the struggles of breast cancer, you can call the Cancer Outreach Services at 865-541-1312.