Black Lives Matter means ensuring African American women/men receive the same level of care as all others affected by this disease. Black Lives Matter because breast cancer does not discriminate by race, but statistics show that black women are dying at a 42% faster rate than any other race. Black Lives Matter because WE ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR. Black Lives Matter because we deserve to be included in clinical trials. Five percent of black women/men participate in clinical trials. Inclusion means including black women/men in the clinical trial recruitment and participation. Inclusion doesn’t just mean offering black women a seat at the table but including us because of our knowledge, advocacy, compassion and our diagnosis.
I want to use my voice as a black woman who has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) as a platform to raise awareness of the racial disparities black women/men face during a breast cancer diagnosis. I have been living with MBC for 10 years and it’s up to me to speak for the voiceless. I’ve learned that not all women/men with MBC want to share their stories or be an advocate and I understand that. So, for the women/men who have been diagnosed with MBC I will be your voice. I will make sure you are heard. I will make sure our symptoms are not dismissed because we are black. This is why Black Lives Matter to me.