ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Cancer is a scary disease that can happen to anyone but imagine finding out on your birthday that you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer.
One Abilene woman has fought the fight of her life to beat this disease. At the old Taylor County courthouse, a proclamation was read making October Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Among the crowd was Deydra Wiliams, a breast cancer survivor.
“I got involved with Hendrick because my mom was a breast cancer survivor, but she didn’t survive the whole 5 years,” said Williams.
And after losing her mother, Williams says she became concerned about other African American women losing their lives, too.
“When I went with my mom to all her appointments, I never noticed any other African American women that were there at the appointments, and that kind of concerned me,” said Williams.
According to Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, African American women have a 31% breast cancer mortality rate, the highest of any U.S. racial or ethnic group.
“For lack of non-awareness, lack of not being perhaps may be concerned, the fear of it,” said Williams.
In order to avoid joining that statistic, Williams had a detection plan.
“I had picked a date, my birthday month, and that when I had all my women’s health things done, that way I would never forget,” said Williams.
She says it was easier for her to remember since she put it around a significant date.
“It was always on my birthday, so that became a routine for me,” said Williams.
After watching her mother’s battle, Williams fully immersed herself in breast cancer programs that Hendrick Health has to offer.
“I caught mine at stage 1. Which means that my survivor rate is 100%,” said Williams.
As she felt more prepared than others and wants to break the cycle of those not knowing.
“We have to break that generation of not giving the knowledge on to our daughters, our sisters, our grandchildren, our friends,” said Williams.
Williams says she owes her survival to her mother and her recovery to Hendrick Health.
“It would be selfish of me to not pass the knowledge that I know on to them,” said Williams.
Which she’s now partnered with to create a luncheon awareness for all women but especially African American women and women of color.
To mark breast cancer awareness month, each October Taylor County hangs reefs on the courthouse doors to emphasize the need for breast health education.