SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Breast Cancer Awareness Month is ending, but one San Diego woman is working to support women of color battling the disease year-round. "Many Shades of Pink" is helping turn patients into survivors.
"It's my passion," says founder Wendy Shurelds. "I eat and breath this."
In 2018, Shurelds started Many Shades of Pink after her battle with the disease.
"When I was going through my journey, I was going to support groups but, I didn't feel comfortable because there wasn't anyone in the group that looked like me."
Many Shades of Pink offers a safe space for women of color to share their experiences. Due to COVID, the support group is now virtual, but Shurelds says she has been able to reach more people during the pandemic.
"When we went virtual, we were able to reach women in other states and cities," says Shurelds.
"It's a really dynamic group of women," adds Rosalyn Williams. She is also a cancer survivor.
Williams says she connected with Shurelds some time ago. The support group has helped her after beating multiple rounds of breast cancer.
"We're here to embrace one another," says Williams. "We cry, we pray, whatever the needs are, we are here to support each other."
"I'm helping them navigate through the system and making sure they have the proper testing," says Shurelds.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the U.S., but black women are more likely to die from the disease.
"Here in San Diego, black women, our mortality rate is 41 percent. That is alarming," says Shurelds.
Many Shades of Pink helps women with several resources, including free mammograms.
"If breast cancer is diagnosed in its early stage, it's 99 percent curable."
Shields says she's working to break every chain to end breast health disparities.
If you're interested in the resources offered by Many Shades of Pink, Shields will be at the Community Health and Resource Fair at the Jackie Robinson YMCA on Nov. 3, starting at 10 a.m.