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Breast Cancer

Sisters Network Inc. Is Walking to Stop the Silence

Sisters Network® Inc. is hosting the 10th Annual Stop The Silence 5K Walk/Run in Houston on Saturday, April 25, 2020. We started this walk 10 years ago as the first national African American walk for breast cancer. As the only national African American breast cancer survivorship organization, our purpose is to bring attention to the devastating impact of breast cancer on African American women and be the go-to place for information, resources, support and care for the black community.

We named our event the Stop The Silence® 5k Walk/Run because of the long-standing history of African Americans not discussing cancer and other life-threatening health concerns. Black women just don’t talk enough about this disease that is killing us at a 42 percent higher rate than white women. A recent study conducted by the Ad Council identified that though 92 percent of black women agree breast health is important, only 25 percent of women have recently discussed it, and a mere 17 percent have taken steps to understand their risk.

We walk with a purpose. Proceeds from our walk fund our Sisters Network Breast Cancer Assistance Program, which provides financial resources for our sisters in treatment. Our walk has raised nearly $1 million in funding to help our sisters.

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So why not bring the community together to walk for this important cause?

Karen Eubanks Jackson, Sister Network Inc. founder and CEO, is proud she has been able to gather more than 7,500 people to walk and run and raise money for this cause. “Our walk is a beautiful celebration of life. We bring our community together, bring awareness and education about breast cancer and celebrate survivorship. Our sisters come from across the country with their caregivers, family members and friends to show the community what a real sisterhood is all about,” she said.“Though we can’t solve every problem, we know that our BCAP funding can give at least a little relief to our sisters who have so much on their plate when fighting this disease.”

Walking is such a great form of exercise, and, frankly, our community just doesn’t do enough of it. Walking burns calories, strengthens the heart, helps lower blood sugar, eases joint pain, boosts immune function and energy, improves mood and helps extend life.

“I love seeing the camaraderie and sisterhood at the walk,” said Zelma Watkins, co-founder and vice president of the Central Virginia Affiliate Chapter. “I’ve walked in all except one, and I always feel good about the unity I see among the survivors, their families and the support of many others who come out to support our survivor community and Sisters Network overall. The walk is a perfect example of our Sisters Network creed: ‘In unity there is Strength, in strength there is power, in power there is change.”

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People come from near and far to support our walk—some in busloads, many from church groups—and our sister organization partners The Links, Inc.; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and Alpha Phi Alpha Sorority Incorporated. We have a special tent for where survivors can mingle, hug, share stories, share information and celebrate survivorship. We know the healing power of sisterhood is invaluable.

So join us! Walk with us at Discovery Green in Houston or host a walk in your own neighborhood. Get some exercise, strut your stuff and dance with us in your pink tutus. Houston’s own Madison High School Band, drill team and cheerleaders will lead us in a phenomenal day of festivities, fun and sisterhood.

We could not do this without the help of our sponsors. Sincere thanks go out to Eisai, Amgen, Comerica Bank, MD Anderson Cancer Center, HEB, D-Mars.com, Fox 26, Bristol Myers Squibb and Immunomedics.

—Ricki Fairley

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