Chicago resident and mother of five Reshelle Matheny was diagnosed with Stage 2 triple negative breast cancer in November 2013. She has a sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. Her sister, unfortunately, passed of the disease.
According to breastcancer.org, “Black women who are diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer are 28 percent more likely to die than White women with the same diagnosis.”
A study led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, found that triple negative breast cancers were less likely to be screen-detected. The researchers found that breast density was more strongly associated with triple negative breast cancer than other subtypes, and obesity was associated with greater risk of triple negative breast cancer among Black women.
The passing of her sister, along with her own diagnosis, inspired Reshelle to create a non-profit dedicated to providing education and resources for women and men in 2014.
“The passing of my sister really put me on my journey to birth Warriors Talk, Inc. I just started sharing my journey. The mission of the organization is to empower individuals into action for a healthier lifestyle before, during, and after a cancer diagnosis,” says Reshelle.
Every Monday from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. CDT, the Warriors Talk podcast can be accessed at intellectualradio.com. The podcast covers topics such as “How cancer and other diseases are running rampant throughout our country.”
Explains Reshelle, “The mission of the podcast is: Moving from awareness towards action. Listeners are left feeling empowered, informed, and connected to not only survive but also thrive in life. Guests on the show have consisted of battle survivors, doctors, nurses, researchers, and more.”
In 2015, Warriors Talk, Inc., hosted its first annual Survivors Night of Reflection Gala. The gala allows survivors to reflect on their journeys, express their gratitude for life, and share their wisdom after conquering cancer. The gala is not only for survivors but also for Warriors, men and women, who are currently in a battle with cancer.
Funds raised from the gala go to the Warriors In The Battle Fund. The fund provides financial assistance to individuals fighting cancer so they can concentrate on fighting the disease and healing process.
Regardless of how a Warrior chooses to battle cancer, whether it’s through conventional methods or holistic methods, all Warriors receive a Battle Buddy Sac. A portion of the funds raised at the gala are used to purchase handpicked items that go into each sac and are distributed to cancer centers throughout the Chicagoland area.
Since Reshelle’s cancer diagnosis she has adopted a healthy living lifestyle, which includes no alcohol. To further her encouragement and education of the importance of healthy living, Warriors Talk, Inc. hosts an annual Paint and Dip. Using painting to relax, socialize, and have fun, Reshelle provides chips and dip instead of alcohol.
Warrior and supporter Chanel Evans-Williams shared with The Final Call how she was introduced to Reshelle by a co-worker. Once she learned of Reshelle’s organization, and got to know her, Chanel was very impressed.
“I was diagnosed with stage 2b breast cancer in 2017, I underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and a mastectomy. During this time, I was able to overcome the cancer. However, in 2019, while taking part in a funeral procession, I was involved in a car accident that left me with very bad headaches. As the doctor was checking me out due to the headaches, it was suggested to me that I go and visit an oncologist. This is when I learned that the cancer had returned, and now I am battling stage 4 breast cancer,” Chanel says.
She found listening to the Warriors Talk podcast comforting. “I think the podcast is awesome in that there are advocates for cancer patients, great nutrition information, and I always share the podcast’s information with others when I’m at the cancer center,” she adds.
Reshelle’s passion to inform and educate as many people as possible regarding cancer led her to write a book, “Take Charge of Cancer: Empowering the Warrior Within.” It is available on Amazon.com.
Take Charge of Cancer is described as a quick read or reference book for anyone newly diagnosed with cancer and have questions and don’t know where to start.
“I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2009, and I’ve been free of cancer since October 19, 2009, the day of my surgery. I met Reshelle through a mutual friend at an event we were attending in 2017, for non-profit organizations. I have definitely benefited from the health information Warriors Talk provides, I am now mindful of what I eat and drink. I love how Reshelle puts into the forefront of moving from being aware into action,” Tracy R. Kincaid says.
Warriors Talk, Inc., can be reached at warriorstalk.org.
Shawntell Muhammad can be reached at [email protected]