Group provides girl time – and care – to women fighting cancer

CHICAGO – At the Chicago Family Health Center’s Cinderella Ball, cancer survivors and fighters come together together to enjoying a little girl time, all in the name of empowerment, determination, and inspiration.

There are tiaras and boas, massages and mini-manis, just the things a girl needs to feel good in her own skin. It is a day filled with frills and a lot of support for women who have faced or are facing cancer.

“Mine was caught really early, it was stage two, but it was still early enough that I didn’t have to have the mastectomy; I had the lumpectomy,” said Ann Wallett. “I was very blessed in an unblessed way.”

Ann credits the center in South Chicago for helping her get through her treatment. Another survivor, Candace Henley, was just 36 when she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She had a good job and insurance, but no guidance on where and what help was out there. Disability couldn’t cover the mortgage, car payment, and five children. She was frustrated, and tried to take her own life.

“My journey through cancer is one people don’t talk about because it was a story of loss, because I became homeless with my 5 children fighting cancer,” Candace remembers.

She found a support group, and help, and got back on her feet.  Organizers say that is the goal of the Chicago Family Health Center: treating the whole person, not just the cancer, no matter what their situation is. By screening everyone early, even if they’re undocumented or if they have no social security number, we can take them to the next level.

Through early detection, regular screenings, and a healthy lifestyle the health center hopes to teach their community and those around them

Today, Candace is 13 years cancer-free. Her biggest medical condition: a double-dutch injury playing with kids and grandkids.

For more information, visit the Chicago Family Health Center and Blue Hat Foundation online.