Hello, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Denika Lundy. I am very proud to say that I am a breast cancer SURVIVOR! I AM 39 years old and August 2013 makes me 11 years breast cancer free.
When I was 27 I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I was scared and devastated for what was to come. I had two small boys ages four and fifteen months. The most I had to worry about was teaching ABC’s and 123’S. And then a life threatening decease was trying to take over my body and mind.
I had to act fast and make wise decisions for my health because my cancer was growing rapidly. I underwent chemotherapy and had to get my breasts removed. My hair fell out and now the image of my body was completely changed. I lived away from my family so at that time my support was through the phone lines. Through this awful year I craved for support, I needed help with my children; I depended on a couple of friends for transportation around their availability and often sat in my room alone praying just to keep my faith in God. While I was healing and started to feel better my sister Dory who just turned 27 ( we were eighteen months apart) had fear in her voice and told me she too was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 1. Like me her fate was the same and also had to get chemotherapy and had a double breast mastectomy. Her daughter was nine years old. I made a choice to come back to Syracuse with my boys so she would not be alone in this fight for her life. Even with me by her side we felt so alone. No transportation, no help with our children, no support groups even the food was scarce and we both should have had a better diet. Breast cancer had already taken the adult women in our family; our mother, aunt and grandmother. Everybody else had their own lives and hardships to deal with. So through the grace of God we made it through together. When we both healed enough mind, body and soul, we often said that God brought us through for a reason and it didn’t take long to realize what that was. We were here to help the next young girl so she would not be alone, not be hungry, so she could have a support system, so her babies didn’t have to watch her get physically sick day after day.
We did some research and found out that there are statistics that prove that people in low economic communities have high health disparities. We realized that women of Hispanic and African American background get cancer before the age of thirty when most Caucasian women get cancer in their forties.
We came up with 2 Sisters 4 Life, we were going to be a not for profit. Our mission was to Empower and Educate young women of every color. We were going to start right here in Syracuse New York where we were born and raised in the inner city community.
Nine years after Dory’s first diagnosis again got the news that her cancer came back. This time it was stage 4. I was her care giver until she passed away fifteen months later. My beautiful sister will be forever 35.
It took a couple of years but I continued to pursue 2 Sisters 4 Life. I speak to young girls in schools about breast cancer awareness, I am starting a mentoring program and scholarship funds. I am beginning a resource program for insurance needs, transportation, childcare and even food distribution.
With your help 2 Sisters 4 Life will be a success! Our goal is to improve the survival rate of young women starting in the inner city of Syracuse New York.