Ruth Travis is a 12 year breast cancer survivor and founder of Ruth’s Pink House. (Courtesy photo)

By Ruth Travis
Special to the AFRO

My journey started two days before my 62nd birthday, on Nov. 29, 2007 I was diagnosed with breast cancer at zero stage and 100 percent survival. The cancer cell was the size of a dot of pepper and located in the milk duct, therefore, I did not have a lump. 

I had Lumpectomy surgery on Feb. 6, 2008 at 10:00a.m. The third week after the surgery, I was given the Mammosite targeted radiation, where a balloon is placed in the breast. I took the radiation treatment for five days straight-twice a day. I drove myself to the hospital for treatment.

The last treatment was on Feb. 22, 2008. I was sitting in my family room when I realized that I was still alive on purpose for purpose.

I followed “The Process:”

  • Diagnosis (fear and devastation)
  • Consultation
  • Surgery
  • Treatment
  • Doctor’s orders to take a mammogram every six months and an annual MRI. 

The doctor is now finished. It’s up to me, the survivor to continue my journey through life. 

In 2017, after 31 years in the pastoral ministry, I decided to pursue the vision that God gave me on Feb. 22, 2008: build Ruth’s Pink House, a place for African-American breast cancer survivors to come for rest and relaxation. 

The diagnosis is not a death threat, but it‘s a license to journey through life with passion and purpose.  

Ruth’s Pink House does not have a physical location yet, but my goal is to provide education and resources to African-American breast cancer survivors. 

Every Saturday, for the remainder of this month, Ruth’s Pink House will be distributing gift bags that will spread breast cancer awareness. Attendees are encouraged to wear pink attire, remain in your parked car, wear a face mask and gloves and honk your horn to celebrate breast cancer survivors!

Breast cancer survivors and supporters are also encouraged to decorate their cars at the site. The cars will be parked curbside in order to avoid a traffic jam. We will maintain the six feet social distance. Hand sanitizer will be available.

My journey continues as a 12 year breast cancer survivor!