GLENARDEN, Md. - Each October we take time out to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness month and to talk about breast health. But for the nearly 300,000 women diagnosed this year with breast cancer, it’s more than a month.
FOX 5’s Allison Seymour visited Cherry Blossom Intimates in Glenarden, Maryland to speak with two women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. LaWanda Fountain and Ricki Fairley call themselves “breasties” and they’re using their cancer battle and journey to Pay It Forward.
LaWanda and Ricki said they were devastated when they heard the news. LaWanda said she was at work when her doctor called and she immediately hung up the phone, went to the bathroom and cried.
Ricki said she googled her diagnosis and the results of her search were bleak, giving her two years or less to live. Both women had a double mastectomy.
According to Dr. Regina Hampton, co-owner of Cherry Blossom Intimates, there are no therapies or drugs that will prevent cancer from returning so a mastectomy, in most cases, is the most viable option.
After nearly seven years, Ricki is still cancer-free. LaWanda lived 10 years cancer-free only to be told her cancer has returned.
Now in the midst of treatment, she has remained positive and continues to advocate for herself and other women.
“A lot of times when something bad happens to you or someone close to you, something good is coming around the corner. So I was like, ‘OK, if that’s what this is then I’m going to fight this fight to the end,’” LaWanda said.
LaWanda and Ricki said the services and care they’ve been able to receive at Cherry Blossom Intimates have been helpful.
Co-owner Jasmine Jones opened the store several years ago because she watched her grandmother battle breast cancer. She described the places her grandmother went to get specialized bras and equipment as “very cold sterile places” and she wanted to change that experience for women battling cancer.
Jones helped create a space where she says women can get post-surgery products in any size. It’s also the only boutique in the area that does on-site breast prosthetics for women in need.
Easterns Automotive Group donated $1,000 to help future customers with services and products not covered by insurance. The Pay It Forward Crew also gave LaWanda and Ricki spa gift cards.
If you know someone who should be featured on Pay It Forward, you can nominate them here. In your email, be sure to include who they are and why they deserve to be recognized.