New York Chapter
I remember the first day I met Tamika. It was Sept. 19th, 2009. I call this date one of my blessed days. It was at the 2nd Annual NYC Walk to Beat the Clock! I had just endured one of the most difficult journeys of my life. I had finished going through treatments after being diagnosed with Cervical Cancer Stage IIB.
At this point, I needed an uplift in my life and there she was. She saw me wearing an “orange t-shirt” a shirt given to survivors at the walk and she embraced me as her “survivor sister” without even knowing me. I immediately felt her warmth and we bonded. Tamika, a 9 years survivor, is an amazing woman that has shown such strength in the face of adversity and has made awareness of Cervical Cancer a priority. She is truly an admirable woman. She is making a difference by sharing her story and educating women about this disease. I felt inspired by her and the other survivors that were there. I knew then that I was not alone, and I wanted to join their mission. I was not keeping quiet anymore. I did not have to feel ashamed. I wanted to share my story too. I wanted to educate women by letting them know that this disease doesn’t have to be. So I approached Tamika and offered my help. I wanted to become one of her “friends.” Now, I am proud to be part of Tamika & Friends, Inc.
I am committed to the eradication of Cervical Cancer and so is Tamika and Friends. I am looking forward to the future of the New York Chapter. Through community outreach and events this Chapter will make women aware about prevention and detection of Cervical Cancer and its link to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This disease takes away your identity and it affects you and the people around you and unfortunately, in many cases, it even takes your life. No woman should die from this preventable disease!!
Patti M. Casa
T&F – New York Chapter