SADIE STRONG   “Turning Trauma into Triumph – Inspiring Faith, Hope and Love”

By Sharon S. Sanford

When you plant seeds of faith, hope, love, support, giving, joy and positivity, you will reap an unbelievable harvest full of everything you need to make it through any situation. -Sadie Strong

SADIE STRONG COMMUNTY HEALTH AND WELLNESS FAIR

One in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. That’s what the statistics say.  

On Saturday, October 5, Sadie Strong is partnering with the Community Health Center of Buffalo to host the Sadie Strong Community Health and Wellness Fun Day from 10a.m. – 1p.m. at the Rev. Dr. Bennett W. Smith Sr. Family Life Center. This free event will provide a wealth of health and wellness related information, health screenings, fitness activities, line dancing, nutrition and meal prep demos, prizes, giveaways and much more.  Sadie Strong has also partnered with Connect Life to hold a blood drive on site. To schedule a blood donation visit: ConnectLiveGiveBlood.org; Enter the Sponsor Code 000569 or call ConnectLife at 716-529-4270. One donation can save three lives. We encourage everyone to come out to support this worthwhile event.

 Sadie Strong is a faith-based nonprofit organization that promotes the early detection of breast cancer and encourages healthy lifestyles. The mission of Sadie Strong is to inspire faith, hope and love to everyone they encounter. They offer a variety of programs and services that provide awareness, information, support and empowerment to women affected by breast cancer in underserved communities in Buffalo and surrounding areas. They also recognize and honor cancer survivors and share inspirational stories and messages of faith. Sadie Strong is a labor of love inspired by God and birthed out of Sharon “Sadie” Sanford’s journey with breast cancer.

Here is the journey of one woman’s experience with breast cancer and how she turned her trauma into triumph.

On October 30, 2017, Sharon “Sadie” Sanford received a phone call that rocked her world. After a routine mammogram she was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma – breast cancer – that had spread to her lymph nodes. She sat in silence holding the phone as the doctor gave her instructions on what her next steps were. She was in shock and felt a whirlwind  of emotions, questions and fear. She thought, what am I going to do?  How did this happen to me?  What about my husband and my children?  Am I going to die? When she hung up the phone, she looked up and said, “God help me.” Having a spiritual relationship with God, she knew that she could tap into God’s promises of healing, restoration and comfort. God had to be her first option and not her last result. She needed strength that can only come from God to make it through what was to come.

 She finally mustered up the courage to tell her husband the news. He said, “We have to go to Grandmother’s and pray RIGHT NOW.”  They jumped in the car and drove to her grandmother’s house.  On the way, Sadie called her mother and father to share the news.  Her next task was probably the most difficult.  She had to tell her children. Breast cancer doesn’t just impact the person diagnosed, it also impacts the people in their life who love them.  Sadie made the decision to share her diagnosis with others because she wanted and needed the support of those around her.  Each person handles their diagnosis differently and personally.

Next, Sadie enlisted the prayer warriors. They touched and agreed for her healing and affirmed that Sadie shall live and not die. She met with several doctors to get clarity on her diagnosis and treatment plan and began chemotherapy right away followed by surgery and radiation treatments. This process took about seven months. Just as fear began to creep in she received an encouraging note from her Sister Circle with a quote that said, “You have been assigned this mountain to show others that it can be moved.” This became her mantra. She was ready for battle.

The Healing Journey

As she progressed through her healing journey, Sadie was encouraged by the love, support, prayers and kindness shown to her during this process. She was inspired to create a t-shirt as a symbol of love, unity and support.  The Sadie Strong shirt is neon pink and says “We Believe God.” Her vision was to have people wear the shirts together, as an act of collective Praise and belief for her healing.  She wanted to create a movement of people who believe God for 

EVERYTHING.

As she researched breast cancer she was shocked by the statistics and high mortality rate of breast cancer among African American women. Sadie had been diligent in having annual mammograms out of routine and because she had insurance. She didn’t really realize or understand at the time the importance of getting annual mammograms in early detection of breast cancer. She didn’t have a family history of breast cancer nor had anyone close to her been diagnosed. She heard commercials about breast cancer, but it seemed far in the distance. Sadie had to do her part in spreading awareness of the importance of early detection.

Sadie Strong Love Boxes

In an effort to pay it forward, Sadie Strong will distribute Love Boxes to women and men, who are recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  The love boxes will be filled with items that encourage and uplift the spirits of those going through cancer treatments. Sadie Strong Love Boxes will be distributed in October and April. Nominations are currently being accepted for the October distribution. 

If you know someone recently diagnosed – within the past 6 months and you would like to nominate someone to receive a Sadie Strong Love Box, visit our website www.sadiestrong.org to complete the nomination form. 

Nomination forms will also be available at the Sadie Strong Community Health and Wellness Fair on October 5th. The deadline to submit nomination forms for the October distribution is October 15th.

For more information about Sadie Strong visit www.SadieStrong.org.