Who is Susan G. Komen?

I love October! I can’t help but notice that the sun just seems to shine a little brighter in October, at least in South Florida. Another thing that’s sure to be noticed in October is the pink ribbons on billboards, water bottles and even egg shells. Yes, it’s breast cancer awareness month.

Along with the pink ribbons I see every year I also hear   see the name Susan G. Komen or Komen for the Cure. I   started to wonder, who is Susan G. Komen? I did a little research and found…

Susan G. Goodman was born on October 31, 1943 in Peoria, Illinois. She was a popular girl in her neighborhood. The high school homecoming queen and college beauty queen married her college sweetheart Stan Komen. She was very close to her younger sister Nancy, who describes her as the perfect older sister.

After noticing a lump in her breast, Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33. Uneducated about cancer, Susan didn’t immediately seek treatment from a cancer specialist and decided to let her family doctor treat her for the life threatening disease. The family doctor eventually called in a surgeon. Adamant against a mastectomy, Susan decided to have a subcutaneous mastectomy, a procedure in which the outside of the breast is left intact but an incision is made and the breast tissue is removed.  Susan was told that she was cured after the procedure, however less than six months later, another lump appeared under her arm. The cancer had spread to her lung. At that point, Susan began fighting for her life.

A major turning point in Susan’s struggle for survival came from then first lady Mrs. Betty Ford, who in 1978 got a mastectomy and successfully overcame breast cancer. Susan became more aggressive in her fight and began chemotherapy. Throughout her treatments and hospital stays, Susan wasn’t happy with the aesthetics of the waiting room. The walls were bare are and the chairs were uncomfortable. She told Nancy that she wanted to do something to make the waiting area more comfortable for women that had to be there. She also asked her sister to do something to speed up the research process and Nancy promised her that she would.

After nine operations, three courses of chemotherapy and radiation, Susan G. Komen lost her battle with breast cancer. She passed away on August 4, 1980. Nancy Brinker kept her promise to her sister and founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 1982, which grew to become the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. Since its inception, the non-profit has raised over $1.9 billion for research, education, and health services, making it the largest breast cancer charity in the world.

For more information on Susan G. Komen, Nancy Brinker or how
you can get involved, visit http://ww5.komen.org/Default.aspx


Adia Kamaria



I recently posted a poll asking women if they could have
a choice of only one, would they prefer a mega-career or a husband and
children. Of the twenty women that responded, the poll was split exactly 70 to
30 percent, with the majority choosing a husband and children. I can’t say that
I’m surprised since success to most women includes being a wife and mother. What about when you’re approaching your thirties, or in some cases are already in your thirties and it seems more likely that you’ll win the lottery than find a mate and have children? Which do you prefer to have then? Thirties might be a tricky time for pregnancy, but it’s a great time to embark on a new career.

As a child, the term biological clock meant nothing to me. I really thought it was something that affected some but not all women, now I know better. According to socialfertility.com (and just about every woman’s health organization) a woman’s chances of fertility decline rapidly at age 35. Age 35 is also the point when Down syndrome and other genetic abnormalities become more of a concern. In other words, if you want to have children without complications, have them by the time you turn 34.

“You’re thirty. You can’t afford to be picky” – Darcy in Something Borrowed

In my female opinion, finding a mate when you’re in your
late twenties to mid-thirties is difficult because most of the men in your age
group are married, in a serious relationship or already know who they plan to
settle down with when they decide to. All that’s left are the older men that
have been married and divorced with children that are damn near grown, which is not ideal when you think of living happily ever after with the love of your life. On the flip-side, getting married in your late twenties or early thirties is more sensible because you have a better understanding of who you are and therefore can make a better choice as to who is a better fit to complement your life.

I’ve had and overheard the “clock ticking” conversation with many women and all of them, myself included, said that if they weren’t married by a certain age, usually 32, they would just find a nice guy that they could settle down with and have a baby, they didn’t need to be in love. Some women said they wouldn’t even want the relationship. They would just find a man that they knew would be a good father and have a child because they want a child more than a man. Well, I have since changed my mind!

Nothing can replace having a man in your life, but settling is not the answer. I can assure you that you will be more miserable having to deal with someone you don’t love and were never in love with than if you had just stayed single. I’m not saying to be picky either, but you are better off dating and investing in yourself to keep your mind occupied; keep chasing a dream, go back to school, learn to do something that can become a hobby, whatever you do, DO NOT SETTLE. You can settle for a used car if you can’t afford a new one right now, you can settle for tilapia if the restaurant is out of snapper but never for someone who doesn’t completely fulfill you. Settling is for material things, not for your mind, heart and body.


Adia Kamaria

If you could only have one or the other…

Local Superwoman: Vanessa Vazquez

Last week my class had the pleasure of
speaking with Vanessa Vazquez, a fellow Florida International University student. She came to speak to us about Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, also known as TSC. TSC is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in many different organs at the same time, primarily the eyes, heart, kidney, liver, skin, and lungs. TSC affects some severely and others so mildly that it often goes undiagnosed. Those severely affected are subjected to a lifetime of seizures. TSC is the leading genetic cause of epilepsy and autism. Approximately 50,000 people in the United States are infected, with about 395 of them living in Florida.

Vanessa Vazquez’s son Lucca is infected with TSC, which is the reason for her interest and knowledge of the disease; however she is not the average mother. Here is a young woman that manages being a full-time mother to a special needs child, a wife, and a full-time student, all the while working a full-time job. On top of that she is the Vice-Chair of the South Florida chapter of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, the only national organization dedicated to finding a cure for TSC. I think she deserves a round of applause!

Listening to Vanessa speaking about TSC and her experience with her son reminded me of two things. 1) We should never take our health or the health of our loved ones for granted. Healthy people don’t know what it’s like to be on medication or to deal with the unpleasant effects of a disease like TSC. Having good health is more valuable than we usually remember. 2) We were all born with the humanitarian duty to help the less fortunate. We don’t all have the time or money to donate to a cause, but we can do others things to help. Clothes you or your children are no longer wearing can be given to a homeless shelter and one donated toy at Christmas can go a long way. A lot of us already do these things, if you do; applause to you too!

The TS Alliance will be having a walk to raise awareness on October 22, 2011, for more information on the walk or general information on TSC, visit www.tsalliance.org




The 57th Date

Behind me as I climb the stairs
Opening doors, pulling out my chair
The corner of my eye catches his stare
His desire for me doesn’t seem fair

Drinks in glasses, bottles, even cans
This isn’t going the way that I planned
He doesn’t judge me, instead he understands
I’m a drunken mess and he’s still holding my hand

Carrying my heels so I can skip on the sand
Then side by side we’re cooled by nature’s fan
Lifting me over broken glass
I’m in the safety of his arms at last

His voice so deep like thunder rolling free
Shower down sweet words all over me
His skin blue-black like midnight on the sea
Pressed up, painted all over me

My firm pillow that is his chest
His fingers in my hair as I lay to rest
His heart beating me to sleep
Lost in words he promises to keep

Adia Kamaria

Untitled by Nass


Nassengae Stewart

Nassengae lives in the Orlando area and hosts “Real Talk With Nass” on www.kingvibez.com every Tuesday from 9 – 10 PM

Every Woman Should Know…

1.       That your relationship is your relationship.

Talking to friends is therapeutic. Venting helps you to calm you down and you will feel a lot better after you do, but remember that the person you are talking to is not you and they don’t know your man the way you do. Just because her man only wore Chanel Bleu when he was cheating doesn’t mean that your man is wearing it because he is cheating too!  Because your cousin’s boyfriend proposed to her the day after she met his parents, has nothing to do with you meeting your boyfriend’s parents. There really are no rules to this. Relationships are like religion and politics, they can’t be argued effectively because there really is no right answer. What your friends say may be a guide but it’s not gospel.

2. That men have feelings too

Women can have razor-sharp tongues sometimes, especially when they’re hurt. While a lot can be forgiven because all is fair in love and war, know when to shut up. I have seen and am guilty of saying some very harsh things to a man when I get mad thinking that he is a man, he can take it. They may not show it the way we do, but men hurt too. He may seem like Satan at times, but he doesn’t have gasoline running through his veins, he has blood and is capable of being hurt just like you so watch what you say to him.

3.  How to say no!

Have you ever been asked out by a man and you tell him that you’re busy; it’s not a good time because…knowing that the reason is that you simply don’t want to? Just say no! Men think totally different than the way women do. You may have told him that you’re not interested in that way and that you all can be friends etc. In his mind he thinks that if you’re still entertaining him in any way he still has a chance and he will keep asking. He might skip a day or a weekend but he will ask again. You don’t need a reason why either, all you owe him is honesty. He asks, “Do you want to_________”, you reply, “No”. If you know you’re not interested the way he is, save you both some trouble and time by just saying no. While you’re at it stop keeping in touch and cut the “friend” crap too, he wants to be more than friends and you know it.

4.       How to Handle a Corkscrew

No I don’t mean literally putting a screw into the cork of a bottle of wine and pulling it out. I mean that you have to know what makes you feel good, for me it’s a glass of wine. In The Daily Book of Positive Quotations by Linda Picone, she writes: “I know I’ll feel better about something six months from now, what can I do today that will make me feel at least a little better now?” When you suffer any kind of heartache you might think that time and only time will make you feel better, but if you distract yourself with something you like to do right now and every day after, before you know it you’ll be over it. Find your distraction. Distractions are good even if they are a little bad because that’s what gets you through.

5. That someone disagreeing with you does not
make them a hater.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion and that opinion might not always match yours. Someone may genuinely be trying to help you or telling you the blunt truth about a situation and because you don’t agree or you don’t want to hear the truth, you say they’re hatin’. You should be able to accept criticism, especially from your friends.





Is the Chase really that Thrilling?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told that men like a challenge in a relationship. If you make yourself too available he’ll take you for granted. If you want a man to stay interested in you, you have to act like you’re not interested in him. If you call him first you’ll seem desperate. From movies to books, pop culture has engrained this message into the minds of women across America.

I understand that there may be something thrilling to men about “chasing” a woman and that men are hunters by nature with women as their prey, but to what end? At what point do men look at a woman’s actions, such as always being available to them as genuine care and concern and not vulnerability? This isn’t a playground or a high school hallway where a boy likes a girl and he picks on her for lack of a better way of getting her attention or a girl sends a note asking a boy if he likes her.

We are adults. Call me crazy, but at twenty-nine years old I show a man that I love him in the natural way given to me, by being there whenever he needs or wants me, calling just to check on him, providing a home-cooked meal, and lending my support in every way necessary. Why is a woman “needy” if she wants to spend the majority of her free time with her man? Why is she annoying if she calls again after her man didn’t return a phone call? Is she not supposed to do these things for the man she cares for? Should she wait for a ring to cook a meal? How frustrating is it to not be able to love a man the way you want to because you are worried about whether or not it will drive him away?

To be clear, I’m not saying that every man a woman dates should be showered with her affection and given the nurturing kindness that only a woman can provide. However, after dating for a few months consistently and having your feelings grow, what’s wrong with showing how much you care?

From what I’ve seen and heard recently, a woman has to ignore a man to get his attention and be unavailable for him to make time for her. It seems that the moment a man is shown that a woman is in his corner and she has his back, all bets are off, game over!


Adia Kamaria

Something to think about…

“A woman who is convinced that
she deserves to accept only the best challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally”

Maya Angelou

The great Maya Angelou
has written and said things that make me feel as if there is nothing under God’s sun better than being a woman. Like no bird can fly more free than my spirit and there’s no metal more precious than my soul. The first time I read this quote an image of Dr. Angelou came to my mind followed by images of other accomplished women, the Michelle Obamas and Arianna Huffingtons of the world. Is this how they achieved such greatness? Did they push themselves to give their best all of the time, expecting to get the best in return?

Then the words convinced,deserves, accept, best, challenges, give, and phenomenally jumped out at me. Each word had a separate message for me. Convinced; am I convinced that I am capable of achieving my goals, whatever they may be. Am I convinced that I can be completely happy with myself? I know what I want but to be convinced is to believe that I will get it. Deserves; what exactly do I think it is that I deserve from all my relationships with family, friends etc. and from life in general? Do I deserve anything? Accept; how do the things that I accept from others reflect my image of myself? Best; Am I living my best life? Challenges; Am I really challenging myself? Could I push myself a little more to get that job, learn that skill or take that chance? Give; I’m old enough to know that nothing in life is free. We give something for everything worth having, so what am I giving to get what I want? Phenomenally; this is what I should be striving for, to be extraordinary.

So many want the best of everything, some even feel entitled to the best
of everything, but don’t give the best of themselves in the pursuit of it.  You may never be First Lady of the free world or President and Editor in Chief of a media group worth millions of dollars, but I’m sure that you can be better at something you are doing, and you can certainly challenge yourself to give your best in everything you do. So let’s do it ladies!