In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to recognize a true shero of mine who is an extended family member, or as we now use the term 'framily'. Niya Santos was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, at the young age of 24 and right before her 25th birthday.
Some may say, "Wow, so young!"According to American Cancer Society, women should start routine checks for breast cancer by the age of 40. Instead, they should start as early as possible.
However, breast cancer sees no age. Despite being so young and a mother to three awesome, handsome and intelligent sons, Niya never gave up.
Finding her purpose.
Upon being diagnosed, Niya explained how she had found her purpose, which was to inspire the community. Her purpose grew even more after she was diagnosed with again with a harsher form of breast cancer.
On April 26, 2018, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer; it had also spread to her lungs. However, that still didn't stop the fight. She fought harder and continued to live her best life and to continue fulfilling her God given purpose.
Niya lived out the purpose of telling others about God's grace. She inspired many to get to know Him for themselves and to grow even closer to Him. She prayed for a countless number of people---no matter how she was feeling at the time, she would say a prayer for others. As we we're praying and fighting the fight alongside her, she was praying other as well. She was living the testament of an unselfish life.
Niya gained her wings on July 16, 2018 at the age of 26. So in honor of Niya the others that we have lost to the disease, as well as the breast cancer survivors, ladies let's get our mammograms and educate others about breast cancer awareness.
"Breast cancer alone kills some 458,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. It has got to be a priority to ensure that more women can access gene testing and lifesaving preventive treatment, whatever their means and background, wherever they live." -Angelina Jolie
Naomi K. Bonman is the founder and editorial director of Purposely Awakened, a digital media agency for millennial activist and change agents of color. A digital media maven at heart, Naomi is also a journalist, screenwriter and digital content creator. Originally from Southern California, Naomi received her B.A. in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism from Clark Atlanta University and her Masters of Public Administration from Keller School of Management of DeVry University.