From: Rev. Cora Denise Stewart Lowe
A Recently diagnosed stage 2 breast cancer patient
Greenwood, Leflore County, Mississippi
To: Freddie White-Johnson, Founder & President
Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation (FLHCF)
Program Director, Breast Health Outreach Program/FLHCF
Post Office Box 755 Ruleville, MS 38771
RE: My testimony as a volunteer for the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation's Breast Health Outreach Program and as a recently diagnosed breast cancer patient.
I am Rev. Cora Denise Stewart Lowe; I have been diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer.
Greenwood MS is the home of my rearing but New Orleans, LA was the home of my maturing, growth, and development. It was my flee of Hurricane Katrina that lead me back to Greenwood and to re-establish my roots. I realized how blessed I was to have survived the devastation of Katrina, even after losing my home, job, several friends and many other irreplaceable things! It was important to me that I do something to express my gratitude to GOD for giving me another chance in life to make a difference.
I met Freddie White-Johnson in Wal-Mart and she talked to me about the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation. I recalled her saying to me, "Since you are a female pastor, you could be a big access to the Foundation's outreach efforts such as telling women about getting a mammogram. Each time you speak at any church, I need for you to promote breast health and early detection. In order for you to promote breast cancer screening, you must have had your screening. Be sure to get your mammogram annually."
After listening to Freddie White talk about the "Fannie Lou Hammer Cancer Foundation and the cancer program she supervised with the University of Southern Mississippi" I was excited and ready to do whatever I could do to support the foundation and educate women about early detection of breast cancer! My first quest was to rally my co-workers at the Middle School where I teach and the women at the church where I pastor.
Oh my God! I am now faced with this evil enemy "BREAST CANCER." A disease that I preached and talk about to other women. In October 2012, mammogram test revealed that I had a cancerous mass in my left breast. Being that I am a woman of GOD I knew that if I were to get thru this ordeal I was going to need support from my family, friends, the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation and a word from GOD. I prayed and asked GOD to give me a word to stand on. The scripture I was given in prayer was: "Relax! Everything is going to be alright! Rest, everything is going to come together! Open up your heart love is coming your way! "Fight with all you have in you!" Jude 1:2 MSG
These are been the words I have stood on and it has been my battle cry! GOD has shown me that my fight was not to fight the cancer but to fight to keep the faith that He will do what He said He would do! I have Relax! Rest! And I am Open to the Love that has come my way! To know that GOD believes in me to go thru this and have more faith than I think I do is something to be thankful for!
In all of my thinking I never thought that I would ever need the support of the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation. After being diagnosed with breast cancer I was in dismay but wasn't afraid because the disease was caught early. I remembered seeing Freddie White-Johnson, the Founder and Director of the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation at a meeting and told her that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She immediately hugged me and said, "What stage?" I replied, "Stage 2." She said, "You'll be find. Just be thankful to God that your breast cancer was found in early stage and remembered you have support –the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation and me.
I am in my final stages of radiation treatment of which I have had to travel 250 miles for more 35 days. I have used all of my personal and medical leave. It is hard but I am a stronger believer that God will provide. The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation has been very instrumental in providing me with breast cancer materials and financial support for medical transportation to help me with continuum care. As of today, the gas is $3.85 per gallon in Greenwood, Leflore County, Mississippi. This organization is truly a blessing to me and other women who need additional support such as help with transportation and medication.
Since my diagnosed of breast cancer, I have gotten more involved with the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation in the fight against breast cancer. I have solicited the help of the churches of which I was affiliated with and as my territory was extended so were requests. I have spoken on the radio talk show and in other venues on the topic of how important it is to supporting the foundation and educate women not only about breast cancer but cancer related issues. The opportunity to serve mankind in such a capacity is rewarding, something that I can't explain. Through my calling as a pastor, I am not just preaching from the pulpit to save souls but I am sharing personal testimony to save lives by promoting early detection of breast cancer.
Give praises to God and all those who support women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer especially the volunteers, Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation, Avon Breast Health Program and the University of Southern Mississippi. Thank you all.
I am giving you the permission to share this written testimony to all in the fight to win the war against breast cancer.