rolling out: When do you think a young woman should start to learn about breast education?
Ebony: Not just breast education but whole body education. We must know our bodies. There are so many issues that a person can have from cholesterol to diabetes. But it’s your overall health that is important; other things can take your life besides breast cancer. Health in general is what I am advocate for. One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Statistically more white women are diagnosed but more black women die from the disease. This really hits home. We have to think about our brothers and sisters without insurance. Many women have to go to the ER for prenatal care that’s not right. Everyone has the right for a full and healthy life.
rolling out: You are the national ambassador for the Circle of Promise, tell me about that.
Ebony: Circle of promise which can be found at www.circleofpromise.org is the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Diversity Outreach Program and I applaud them for it. Taking the time to address the issues of black women and breast cancer is greatly needed. Breast cancer is genetic, but my family did not have it. I went to the very first Susan G. Komen cruise in the Bahamas and to see the alarming statistics in the Bahamas, it was unreal. more than 50% are diagnosed die. I met a woman age 50; she found a lump and was afraid to go to the doctor because she was scared the doctor would say it was breast cancer. I told her “Honey you need to be scared if it is breast cancer. I’m living because I knew what mine was early.” It’s the lack of access to service and not knowing one’s body that I saw in the Bahamas.
rolling out: How many years have you been involved with the Susan G. Komen Foundation?
Ebony: Since I was diagnosed in 2007. When I was in Dallas, I really did not know anybody and a really good friend of mine, Crystal King was the multicultural diversity person at Susan G. Komen. Not only did she bring me a basket, she thanked me because she was 26 at the time she was diagnosed and was glad to hear my message. This brings home to me the fact that they raised the age for women to get checked from 35 to 40 years old when your insurance has to pay for it. This makes me sick to my stomach people are being diagnosed before 30. If I had not been diagnosed I would not have known about my cancer. I pray every day for the rest of my life and every 6 month I have to go for a checkup.
rolling out: What 3 Words of advice can you give a woman who has been newly diagnosed?
Ebony: It would not be words but thoughts. First, Support system. You must have people around you who will uplift you. Second, Your personal belief, your own willpower and sense of being you. Lastly, Spirituality. If you’re going to worry don’t pray, If you’re going to pray don’t worry. It was a belief thing in my mind. One of the most beautiful times I ever felt in my life is being dressed in my regular clothes with no hair. I was like if you’re not going to talk to I don’t. It gave me a different mindset to reevaluate the total strength of being a woman and I drew upon that strength.
rolling out: How did you get involved with Bubbles and Bling
Ebony: I work with Susan G. Komen in Dallas so 10 square contacted me and I wanted to make sure I would fit. I knew it was going to be an eclectic thing and everyone knows I love ‘flava’. Also, anything that draws awareness I want to be involved in, I am a diehard advocate. We need a cure for breast cancer not just research.
rolling out: What ending thoughts would you like to leave our readers with?
Ebony: I hope anything I’ve said in this interview will help and inspire. And men if you love your wives, If you love your daughters you encourage them to look after their health. Also please visit me at www.ebonysteele.com or tweet me at [email protected]. I also have a new website coming up called www.ebonysteeleuniversity.com. This is a new project in 2014 through my non-profit that will train young girls who want to go into TV and radio.
rolling out: Thank you Ebony.