Page 18

18_NewsletterWinter2017_020917_FINAL

RRegional Conference Highlights MIDWEST REGION ▲ JUNE 2–5, 2016 ▲ INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA Midwest Region Raises Awareness and Funds for Cancer Research Eleven hundred. That’s the num-ber of colorful balloons that fell from the ceiling and filled the ballroom during the 47th Midwest Regional Conference Sisterhood Luncheon in Indianapolis, Indi-ana. Each color represented a different type of cancer—purple for pancreatic, red for head and neck, white for bone—17 colors in all. The balloon drop was part of the conference’s community service initiative focused on cancer awareness. The hostess chapters, Indianapolis Alumnae and Chi City-Wide, collaborated with Midwest Regional Director Mona Y. Davenport to select an initiative for the conference. “We determined cancer awareness would be a good fit because of the mul-titude of areas that it covers,” said Soror Bridget Turner, chair of the Midwest Regional Conference Community Service Committee. “Cancer is dear to my heart. I lost my mom to cancer four years ago,” said Dr. Davenport. “Cancer is one of the leading diseases that is crippling our race, especially African American women. We still lack ac-cess to care, and this is a disease that is more likely to be diagnosed in later stages for us.” According to the American Cancer Society, African Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial and ethnic group in the US for most cancers. That’s why Dr. Davenport and the Community Service Committee thought it was important to encourage sorors to take charge of their health by taking a pledge. During the Sisterhood Luncheon, partic-ipants committed to exercising regularly, 18 • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. performing monthly breast self-exams, eat-ing well-balanced meals and having annual exams as prescribed by their doctors. Sorors also donated more than $3,500 to the American Cancer Society for research, edu-cation efforts and screenings in underserved communities. The luncheon came to an exciting conclusion with the balloon drop, which resonated with many Deltas includ-ing Izell White from the Paducah Alumnae Chapter in Kentucky. Soror White, a uter-ine cancer survivor, picked up a teal balloon as it fell. She credits God, early detection and good doctors with her survival. “Listen to your body and listen to your heart, because your gut will tell you when something’s not right,” Soror White said. “God delivered me. I’m just so thank-ful that I survived. And, I’m praising Him every day for it.” Soror White was one of many sorors with a testimony. Conference attendees had the opportunity to share their stories on the Traveling Cancer Awareness Signature Wall. Whether they were survivors or cancer had affected someone they love, sorors could write a message on the portable display. Each day, the wall moved from event to event where Deltas were gathered, accumu-lating heartfelt and uplifting messages. “Sorors were praying at the wall, crying and just hugging each other,” Soror By Erica Donerson Eleven hundred balloons, representing different types of cancer, fell from the ceiling during the Midwest Region’s Sisterhood Luncheon June 3, 2016 as part of the region’s conference initiative. PHOTO BY DEBORAH KENT CONTINUED ON PAGE 31


18_NewsletterWinter2017_020917_FINAL
To see the actual publication please follow the link above