People take a calendar for granted. For most, it is merely an instrument to look at the dates for the days as they pass or to zero in on plans for future days. For Linda White Epps, the production of “Sisters’ Journeys – 2001” is a mechanism to tell the world that she and the stars of the pages are looking forward to many more cancer-free years. Each turn of a page provides a look at another month, more stories from “sisters” and words of encouragement to women. Each page says examine your breasts and have regular mammograms.
Epps has demonstrated the many benefits of early detection, including breast cancer survival. It was nearly nine years ago when she discovered the lump, oh so tiny, and courageously accepted each bit of medical advice. Epps and her sisters highlighted in the calendar, are now winning the fight and spreading the word among a population, African-American women, who have traditionally waited too late to see a doctor about an often treatable disease. They have banded together to tell their stories so that others can live long and fruitful lives. They are pulling many into the inner circle of good health care.
Epps faced breast cancer in such a quiet way that many around her did not even imagine the gravity of her health problem. They did not understand what her emotions might have been when the doctors used to words and she made the decisions. However, through her efforts, we thoroughly understand her message. Her long list of achievements and awards clearly tell the message that she wants African-American women to heed. She tells it in print and she witnesses to many other “sisters” in groups across the state of Connecticut. Her calendar and her group activity encourage other African-American women to become “witnesses” themselves.
Over the years, Epps has worked closely with the Connecticut Chapter of the American Cancer Society. Among the lists of awards, citations from this organization and the African-American community.
Epps has never asked for or received a penny for her chosen work. In fact, she puts more of her own money and time into these projects than can be imagined. In addition, she actually discounts the recognition and awards. But, she goes on, courageously and without hesitation, to plan the next calendar, reaching still greater numbers of women each year.