25. Not just a number

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Shoni gets vulnerable and candid about her mom’s and her own experience with cancer and why her voice as a Black woman, matters.

After our recording, I thought a lot about Shoni’s experience with the receptionist at the oncologist’s office. It’s the kind of experience that is so familiar to those of us who have had to navigate the healthcare system to get care for complex medical conditions. But it is even more stressful when you know that by speaking up, you will be labeled and dismissed with a negative stereotype, like the “angry black woman.”

These kinds of stressors, even if seemingly minor in isolation, add up over time, and not just in healthcare, but across all kinds of important areas in life, such as education, work, and housing. It’s therefore not surprising that minority groups have less positive health outcomes – living with cancer is completely overwhelming as it is, so some days you just may not have the energy to get over the extra hurdle thrown at you. But that sometimes can make all the difference in your trajectory.

A big shout out to Shoni for bringing to life what we read about in research papers and textbooks. You are not just a number, and we thank you for helping us see you.

You can connect with Shoni on Instagram @brsuga and learn more about For the Breast of Us on their website.

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