Recap: Color Of Teal Cancer Expo/Fashion Show Event [Photos + Video]

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Hey PLUM’s I had the honor of attending the Color of Teal second annual cancer expo and fashion show event on Sept. 26th. The event was held at the ‘Carriage House‘ in Manhattan, New York and featured Color Of Teal founder, Genese Valentine [top right] along with special invited speaker guests physicians from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Paul Sabbatini, M.D., Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Clinical Research, and Dr. Carol Aghajanian, M.D., Chief, Gynecology Medical Oncology Service.

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Color of Teal, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that was formed solely on the basis of raising awareness for all gynecologic (cervical, ovarian, vaginal, vulvar, uterine) cancers. Statistically, approximately 1 in 63 women are effected by these forms of cancer, and many are misdiagnosed until it is beyond the threshold for medicine to effectively work.

Radio personality on Sway In The Morning, Tracey G was the gracious host of the evening. Other guests speakers included cancer survivor Stacey Sager, from WABC Eyewitness News, and fashion model, and cervical cancer survivor, Aliyah Cherrise [who is now the new face of Ashley Stewart clothing].

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Singer/aritst, Baiyu dedicated a beautiful and moving “acapella” performance. I tell you, ONLY one of great vocals can pull that off. Listen to her performance below:

I caught up with Genese Valentine at the event to learn more about her inspiration behind the annual event as well as the importance of women being educated and tested early to prevent themselves from getting  this deadly disease.

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On The Event:

” I’m excited about our annual event along with all the sponsors and supporters that are here with us tonight. We are a non-profit organization and we want to EDUCATE the community about the dangers of CANCER, the pre-symptoms and more. We also want to bring awareness to women that are battling cancer that they are not ALONE and they do have a support group.”

On The Inspiration:

“I started this foundation primarily due to my mother, Miriam Valentine who passed away from cancer. I wanted to keep the conversation going. Too many women are being impacted by cancer;… and some may have different cancers from others so its important to know what they are and how you can prevent it.

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On The Importance Of Women Getting Tested Early:

“It’s very important that women get tested and early as well. We’ve invited a speaker guest here tonight Ashely Stewart [who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 17 ] and decided that she was not going to let Cancer beat her. She fought and today [Stewart] who is now 24, a college graduate of Morgan State University, married, and a mother of one [something doctors’ predicted against] is Cancer free. It’s important that women get checked regularly and whenever they feel something maybe wrong or they’re not feeling well they should see a doctor immediately.”

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I later caught up with Cancer survivor, Aaliyah Cherrise to discuss her emotional  ‘survivor’ testimony. Take a read  below.

On Being Diagnosed With HPV At The Age of 17:

” I was aware that it was best to be tested for early signs of the disease so that the problems can be treated early before they turn into cancer  but unfortunately for me I already had a cancer ‘strand‘ already grown. For the next two years,  I had to undergo frequents testings. For those of you that don’t know – they define a woman’s cervix as the ‘CLOCK’.  Every three months for a year and a half I had to get snipped from that clock also known as the cervix. I was wide awake, ALONE,  and I felt it all. After it was done my doctor would give me a ‘Motrin’ before starting but it didn’t help….. I would cry going , I would cry leaving. “

On Why She Held It In & Decided To Share Her Story Now:

“I held in what I was going through because I  felt ashamed . I allowed this to happen, no one would understand and everyone would be thinking that I was looking for  some sort attention because let’s be honest I was in the situation with the attention I had already been seeking! “

” blamed myself so I  had to sucked it up and deal with it.  So  I fought through those visits. Instead of enjoying my senior year in high school, being excited about prom and filling out college applications, my mind was filled with doubt about my future and where this may or may not go. “

On Her Treatment Of HPV & Getting Cured:

I was given LEEP; a loop electrosurgical excision procedure [as part of my diagnosis.] I was wide awake and numb but it hurt. I believe that’s where I grew up. I felt like I still had places to go, people to see, and experiences to go through. After three months I still showed signs of cancer strands. “

” I decided to pursue college. I was a  freshman in college. Upon my next doctor visit, I was told that I needed a surgery and she said this method would be it. I was skeptical at first because I was told the same with the LEAP method but I agreed. Into surgery I went and out I cam HEALED free of any signs of HPV or and or any cancerous signs. In this surgery the doctor’s lazered off the top layer of my cervix. .I still didn’t know what was next but I was ready to live my life. “

PLUM’s Cancer is REAL .It is very IMPORTANT that everyone gets tested regularly. As we celebrate ‘Breast Cancer’ Awareness this month let us not forget those of whom we’ve lost to Cancer [of all kinds; male or female] and those that are still battling this deadly disease. I truly learned more than what I had known prior from this event.

If you like to donate and or learn more about Color Of Teal’s mission click here

Stay healthy PLUM’s!

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