Baylor student shares how a breast cancer tragedy inspired her purpose

By Brenshavia Jordan | Broadcast Reporter

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Los Angeles, Calif. senior Teryca Brooks-Long shared how a tragic event propelled her desire to share her story with others.

“When I was five years old, my mother passed away of breast cancer,” Brooks-Long said. “It has taught me a lot about myself, especially now that I am getting older. I want to advocate for it, advocate for others who don’t have a voice and for people who go through this every day and don’t speak on it.”

Breast cancer occurs when cells divide and grow without their normal control, and both men and women can be at risk. According to the Susan G. Komen website there will be 268,600 new cases for women and 2,670 cases for men this year.

Brooks-Long is now open to sharing her story and hopes to bring more awareness to this issue. She spoke at an Alpha Kappa Sorority, Incorporated event two weeks ago and is motivated by the impact her story has on others.

“They had a balloon release, and that was very important to me,” Brooks-Long said. “I have never been able to speak about it, but I knew it would benefit me and them to know people deal with this every day of their lives.”

There are ways to detect breast cancer early, such as noticing change in the appearance of skin, change in shape or size and change to your nipples.

“Stay in tune with your body,” Brooks-Long said. “If you see something weird going on with your breast, please get that checked out.”

With her tias’ as support, she is committed to being an advocate by using her story.

“We support this cause day in and day out,” Brooks-Long said. “It is something that has affected all of us tremendously. We don’t do it just for October. We are here for the cause.”

For more information on early detection and support, visit the Susan G. Komen website.