There is an old cliché that states that two persons who are alike will not be a match. Well, Tamika and I have definitely proved that was not the case.
My first encounter with Tamika was in the spring of 1996 when she and I were in college and about to be initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. We have laughed, cried, and screamed at each other but throughout remained friends. That is what makes our friendship special because regardless, we think alike and act alike.
After Tamika’s graduation from Claflin University, she ventured off to the Washington, DC area. She and I lost contact but we still remained true to each other in our hearts. We finally got in contact with each other after I left this message on an alumni website for Tamika in 1999.
Special shout out to all my line sisters, especially Tamika Felder. Please get in touch with me.
I visited Tamika in the summer of 2000 and enjoyed my time while I was there and vowed to myself that I would be moving to the DC area by next summer. Well, little did I know Tamika had plan already in the works! She convinced me to move to the DC area and move in with her. I applied for a job in the area in April of 2001 and came up for an interview and two weeks later I drove up to the DC area and moved in with Tamika.
Shortly after I moved in, Tamika was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Now, I watched my beautiful friend and soror turn into a different person. Imagine being 25, enjoying your career and having to be faced with this awful disease that has plagued so many families. Now, Tamika was going through so many emotions… At times she would be happy, sometimes she would come home and not even talk and it was hard for me to deal with that at first because if you know Tamika, she loves to talk.
Tamika fought this disease like a true champion with the help of her mother who moved in and cared for her every step of the way. Also, supporting Tamika was her family and friends. I can recall the day when I along with a college mate traveled to John Hopkins Hospital to visit Tamika and she was up but not feeling well. She began to get a little ill on her stomach and regurgitated. She was too weak to hold the empty bucket so there I was the only one who could stand watching her held it and found a way to comfort her as well. I mean - what was I to do? Here was my friend and line sister… There was no way I could let her suffer like this.
Tamika became strong and decided to fight back and she founded Tamika & Friends, the non-profit organization that is designed to educate to raise awareness about cervical cancer and its link to the human papillomavirus through a network of survivors and their friends. My reasons for wanting to help to fight this war on cervical cancer is simple… TO TRY & SAVE LIVES!
T&F Charlotte Chapter