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Black Genes Matter: Why BRCA Mutations Are Not Just A White Woman’s Problem

In Health, Social Justice by Erika StallingsLeave a Comment

Is breast cancer a white women’s issue? At least for cancers with a genetic component,((A BRCA mutation is a mutation in either of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which are tumor suppressor genes. Individuals with a mutation in either gene have a significantly increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer.)) a good portion of perception…

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Crisis: How Sickle Cell Made Me Confront My Mortality

In Health by Israel DaramolaLeave a Comment

Technically, I have sickle cell anemia.   “Technically,” because I have a condition that should put me in the hospital every week from weariness and intense pain, and yet I've somehow been lucky enough to live life mostly free from these symptoms. I've seen people ravaged and worn down by this disease, going in and…

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A Yogi in the South Side: Reaching Black Youth in Chicago

In Culture, Health by Frank Jackson1 Comment

I had been working for I Grow Chicago, a non-profit organization helping "at-risk" youth revitalize one of the Englewood neighborhood's many vacant lots by transforming it into an art garden. As we broke for lunch under a sweltering summertime Chicago sun, the leaders of I Grow approached me with a proposition. They wanted me to…

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Phantom Pains: Life after a Double Mastectomy

In Health by Erika Stallings1 Comment

My plastic surgeon told me that it would be like this. After I was diagnosed with a BRCA2 mutation,((As I’ve written about previously, in the summer of 2014, I was diagnosed with a BRCA2 mutation. Individuals with BRCA2 mutations have are five more times likely to develop breast cancer than the average woman.)) I spent…