Roommates, February isn’t the only time we’re bringing you black history. A couple out of Philadelphia has started the first and only black-owned cancer support center.
The program opened its doors in 2019 and it is called “The Cancer Who Cares Center.” It comes after the Harris family realized that there was no space for people dealing with the disease. The center offers a variety of resources such as mental, financial and emotional support.
As we all know, cancer is one of the harsh realities of the world. A reality that can bring a lot of stress to a person and their family. Well, Marjani and Al Harris have decided to help lessen the burden and create a space where people can get the best support possible, while dealing with the disease.
In an interview with @BecauseOfThemWeCan, the couple explained their relationship with the cause. Al Harris said, “Cancer really hit us hard and we were looking for extra support and couldn’t find it, so we decided to create our own.” In 2009, the couple discovered some of their relatives were diagnosed with some form of cancer. Marjani sadly lost her step-father to colon cancer in 2009 and Al learned his young cousin was battling brain cancer while his older cousin was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
The Cancer Who Cares Center is located in the Port Richmond area of Philadelphia which makes the center more readily accessible to the black community. The Harris family want to provide as much support as possible. Even going as far as sitting in chemotherapy sessions with their patients to help take their mind off of the process. Al said, “We don’t just sit around and feel bad all day. Actually, 90% of the time that we are at a chemo appointment or at the center, we barely even talk about cancer. We believe in living your life and not letting cancer stop anything that you want to do.” In addition to that, the program also offers yoga nights and spa days to its patients.
All of the programs in The Cancer Who Cares Center are free and the program is currently serving 250 families nationally.
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Written By: Eric. Devontae
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