Seven year Breast Cancer survivor, Allison Alexis, is working diligently to bring more awareness to the terminal illness and provide support for, not only those who have been diagnosed, but for their families and close friends who are also enduring the effects of cancer with them.
This venture came about after she was put into contact with SHAREing and CAREing, a breast cancer support group, and participated in one of their cancer walks.
At the time, while cancer walks were held in different cities in New York, none had been held in Alexis’ community of Richmond Hill. Three years after being diagnosed, and with the help of two close companions, Alexis was able to pull off the first Queens Cancer Walk in Smoky Park, Richmond Hill. The event is now being held annually, with 2018 being the fifth year it has been in existence.
According to Alexis, cancer is still something that our West Indian community still has trouble discussing. “A lot of people don’t want people to know. It’s still hush, hush. I have the hardest time getting people to do testimonials,” she pointed out.
It is for this reason that the breast cancer survivor is so invested in putting the spotlight on the illness. She said that the aim of the walk is to empower the community and educate people with information they need so that, in the event a family member or they themselves are diagnosed with cancer, they would know what to do.
Alexis’ captivation with Hindiusm, she says, also played a part in her drive to help others. She noted that being closely associated with Hindus has helped her to realize that what she has been able to accomplish is much greater than her. She also credited Bhajans as being very calming and soothing agents to her during difficult times, especially during treatment.
In addition to the cancer walks, Alexis created a cancer support group, called Angels of Hope, which caters to those diagnosed with cancer along with their families and close friends. The group’s meetings are held on the first Thursday in every month at Lefferts Library in Richmond Hill, Queens.