REACH 2010 fights cancer with humor

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2003

There are probably a million ways to remind women about the importance of having mammograms and performing regular self exams.

Members of the REACH 2010 organization decided to tackle this issue through humor-delighting everyone who watched their short skit.

All of those who attended REACH 2010’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month observance at Wallace Community College Selma enjoyed a long bout of laughter when member Dorothy Irvin portrayed a reaction to hearing about a visit to the gynecologist.

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Irvin had the crowd rolling in their seats Wednesday evening with the statement, &uot;I’m not putting these between two pieces of plastic. The only person who can touch them is my husband.&uot;

This was the second year Reach 2010 has hosted an evening devoted to information about the disease.

Along with the skits, a representative from the University of Alabama at Birmingham discussed health information.

Judith Donaldson, the REACH 2010 coordinator for Dallas County, said the evening was a way to inform African Americans about the risks of breast and cervical cancer through lighthearted activities.

One way the organization showed that is possible to live after a cancer diagnosis was through a fashion show in which all the models were breast cancer survivors.

One of the models, Barbara Harris, said she has fought the disease twice in the past three years.

Harris, whose hair is only a short crop atop her head, said she didn’t want bother modeling with a wig.

Jennie Ward, the announcer for the fashion show, said one of the models who participated last year recently died of breast cancer.

Ward said all the breast cancer survivors who came to the REACH 2010 event were in a special club, but it was one that no one should ever be a part.

REACH 2010 (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) is a four-year demonstration project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With a group of community volunteers, the project aims to increase breast and cervical cancer awareness and control among community leaders and policy makers.