Residents of Ward 8 held their ninth annual breast cancer walk on Oct. 21 in Southeast Washington to help raise awareness for breast cancer.
Breast cancer survivor Aretha Moore, who participated in the walk, said she was sad to hear that her cancer had returned after nine years.
“I think I was more devastated because I remember the doctors telling me the first time if I had my breasts removed, your chances of it coming back again after nine years was slim,” Moore said.
“And when it came after nine years, I was devastated,” Moore added.
Alexis Corbitt, 31, had no idea last year when she went to her annual physician check up, she would be diagnosed with breast cancer. Corbitt went through four months of chemotherapy and was thankful for having a strong support system to help her through it.
“Fortunately, I had stellar friends who cooked for me, gave me house cleanings, they literally picked me up off the ground when I was too weak to do so,” Corbitt said.
Corbitt also said she wants people to know that they can “look young” and “still be diagnosed.”
Among the participants were ward eight Councilmember Trayon White, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) who both encouraged community members to get tested.
“Cancer can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and we have to make sure we stay in touch with our physicians,” Bowser said.
According to American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women and the “second leading cause of cancer death among women in the U.S.” The ACS also reported that 81 percent of breast cancer diagnoses are among women who are 50 and older.
Sponsored by the D.C. Parks and Recreation Services, the annual walk began nine years ago to honor one of its employees who died of breast cancer.
Director of communications and community development for D.C. Parks and Recreation Services Gregory N. Jackson said this year the organization included different activities throughout the week to pay respect to survivors. The organization took trips to Washington Redskins games, football tournament, skate night, basketball tournament, and a dinner where volunteers cooked for the survivors.
“We’ve added a whole element called pink madness week where every day of the week we did something in honor of survivors,” Jackson said.
While addressing community members, White advised them to hold on to their faith and always give their best.
“You never know when it’s going to be you, so you must put God first, love like you’ve never loved before and do your best each and every day,” White said.