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Nikia Hammonds-Blakely: A Voice for the Voiceless in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

By gene@charitymiles.org (Gene Gurkoff)

On this episode of The Extra Mile Podcast, I flew down to Dallas, Texas to visit the headquarters of a new addition to the Charity Miles family, the Susan G. Komen Foundation. While there, I had the pleasure of speaking with an amazing woman, breast cancer survivor and employee and advocate for Susan G. Komen, the incredible Nikia Hammonds-Blakely.  First of all, the energy at Susan G. Komen is amazing. But visiting the office, and more importantly, speaking with Nikia, was incredibly enlightening. Hearing Nikia’s story added a new dimension to my idea of disease-focused organizations. When I think of organizations like Susan G. Koman I usually just think of research. But they do SO MUCH MORE.  Nikia’s story is extraordinary. At 16 years old she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. After a botched surgery, the resulting disfiguration was difficult on young Nikia at the time. Though it was a difficult thing to talk about and process, the experience of facing her mortality gave her a newfound drive and Nikia started excelling in school, eventually graduating at the top of her class.  She soon became an advocate on her college campus, encouraging other young women to learn the signs of breast cancer. Shortly after, she learned that Susan G. Komen wanted to hear from sectors of the communities that may have been untapped or underserved in the areas of breast cancer treatment and access. So she was voted in as part of the Young Women’s National Advisory Council. After college, she continued her work with Komen as a voice for the voiceless and even went to Capitol Hill to sit down with legislators and speak on the latest healthcare bills that would affect coverage for people under 40. To this day, Nikia does unbelievable work on behalf of underserved communities and African-American women who might not have access to the resources needed to fight the disease. She is currently 25 years cancer-free. A big thank you to Nikia and Lee for joining me on this hot walk in Dallas. You’ll hear how moved I was by her story and I know you will be, too.  #EveryMileMatters Support the Susan G. Komen Foundation: https://ww5.komen.org/ Learn more about Nikia: https://www.nikiahammondsblakely.com/

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