From a donor and volunteer:
I would like to thank the Komen Tissue Bank for the opportunity to donate and to serve.
As a black female and a physician, I have encountered breast cancer on so many levels. Every day I am urging and/or encouraging a woman to get a mammogram, get BRCA tested due to family history or just to be proactive in self breast exams and knowing her body. I have had to deliver good news, bad news and devastating news to my patients and I have had family and friends who have overcome or succumbed to the disease process after valiant fights and struggles. I have raised money and participated in many breast cancer walks and prayer vigils but my most meaningful experience was to donate breast tissue to further research primarily in African American women. When I gave my tissue, I brought along my 9 year old daughter for support and to show her how important it is to give back to research. My daughter lost her paternal grandmother to stage 4 breast cancer when she was 2, an age when she was just developing a relationship with her grandmother. Giving a small part of me to help something so much bigger than me was very gratifying and brought me to tears because I could be helping to save my daughter’s future life.
Recently when I served as a surgical assistant, I was able to talk with the tissue donors about their hopes, fears, courage and sense of fulfilling a legacy of hope for better therapy and cures. It was also a great experience serving. When I told these women I was a physician who had given tissue and was now there serving them, they thought it was awesome. I think I have come full circle but I won’t stop. I will continue my participation because I know I can impact someone and I know how important this is to my family, patients, African American community and community at large.
Sabrina Williams, MD