by Ashley Dedmon

(Blog Part 4) ? 

”I don’t know what the next chapter in my journey entails. My goal is to continue my work in breast cancer and BRCA advocacy. As a mother of daughters, it important that I educate, equip, and empower them to identify, monitor, and manage their standard of care to reduce their risk. I will also have to prepare them to navigate through a system of racial bias, racism, and other inequities so that they can advocate for their health and receive equitable services. I also plan to work more to identify, address, and eliminate the breast cancer disparities in the African American population and work with the younger generation of girls. 

I look forward to continuing my efforts to help African American women and communities access the resources they need to overcome the vicissitudes of access to care and reach equity. We all deserve equity, and for us to accomplish that, we can no longer work in our industry silos. We must address implicit bias and systematic bias in our communities to move our communities forward. We must partner and collaborate with community partners and stakeholders to identify our strengths, weaknesses, and resources to reduce the social and cultural determinants, inequities, and inequalities. 

Every woman should have the opportunity at quality healthcare, one with experienced and quality providers, safe facilities, timely diagnoses, treatment options, and the resources needed to fight, survive and thrive before, during, and after treatment. We must become an ecosystem of resources, knowledge, problem solvers, change agents, system disrupters, and innovative thinkers addressing the medical and non-medical needs of our those faced and impacted by cancer to reach equity in our culture and communities. 

My work is never done. It’s just beginning. 

To all the SURVIVORS, keep living.? 
To all the FIGHTERS, keep fighting. 
To all the CAREGIVERS, keep caring and giving. 
To all the PREVIVORS, keep preventing.  

Although our paths are different, our goal is the same and is to LIVE and THRIVE.?”