2020 Models: Vanessa

September 2, 2020

51, diagnosed at 48

1st degree family history, No known genetic mutation

The lump in Vanessa’s breast was discovered during a routine mammogram, and after testing, was found to be stage 2 breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy and radiation. Vanessa shared this news with very few people during her diagnosis and treatment. She affectionately named this group of prayer warriors her “C Squad.” An administrative assistant and now author, Vanessa found healing in journaling and later turned her writing into a short story book entitled You Have Breast Cancer, So What Now: My Journey, My Story. This book tells of her personal hurt, pain, and sadness but also of her healing, restoration, and faith. After treatment, she found the sisterhood of H4TG and says, “Being a part of this group gives purpose. I can’t imagine not having them in my life.” For Vanessa, depicting a singer in the 1920s was not just about her love of singing, it also represents the areas of progress for African Americans of that era. Even in the midst of turmoil, great things were born, and though they faced racism and oppression, this did not keep African Americans silent or stop them from progressing. She adds, “They not only found strength, they also found their voice, just as I did!”

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