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Diagnosed 3 Times, Taliesha Harris-Cash ‘Lives Life On Purpose, With Purpose’

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“If I can inspire one person, I can inspire the world. It is ongoing," said Taliesha Harris-Cash, who is a three-time survivor of breast cancer. (PROVIDED)
By Sym Posey
The Birmingham Times

Diagnosed three-times, Taliesha Harris-Cash is a survivor of metastatic breast cancer — also called stage IV — which is breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body, most commonly the bones, lungs, brain, or liver, according to breastcancer.org.

After her first diagnosis in 2016. Harris-Cash said she was devastated and became depressed.

“I did not want to talk to anybody. I did not want to hear about cancer. I was intimidated by the word. It took me down this spiral of darkness. I did not want to be around people, and I secluded myself because here I am doing life, and then suddenly cancer comes and ruins everything for me — or so I thought.  It took my voice but then God reminded me I had a trumpet of a voice and He said, ‘you choose to sit here and say nothing. Who are you helping?’”

By 2018, when she was diagnosed again, Harris-Cash said she got her strength back and decided she needed a support group but could not find one, so she started her own. “I pulled on the strength of the other survivors to make it through for the second time. “

Harris-Cash now uses her voice and efforts to assist others through SistersCANcervive a non-profit she founded in 2018. What started as a support group has blossomed into an organization that consists of cancer survivors and patients.

Harris-Cash started with four members and today is 200+ strong.  The group provides sisterhood survivor support for minority females with breast, ovarian, uterine, cervical, and endometrial cancers and provide meals, gas, and co-payments for chemotherapy treatments to women in Birmingham and surrounding areas. They have a private Facebook group that provides a 24-hour chat room to allow members to talk about anything.

“Many survivors and thrivers and patients find themselves in need of someone to talk to about breast cancer because a lot of time they don’t have anyone that has been through the experience, and they feel alone,” Harris-Cash said. “Of course, they have family members, but they don’t have someone who has gone through the journey as a survivor. We are a group of sisters helping sisters. “

The group has a 24/7 chat where survivors can ask questions like, ‘Hey, I did radiation, what medication did you use for your burns? ‘What did you use for nausea? A sister can just go in because she’s going through it. She can ask a question and another sister can offer advice or tips. Sometimes they are just having a grueling day and need a prayer, they might say, ‘this day is not easy for me, I just cried’ and a sister will offer something uplifting. “

When Harris-Cash was diagnosed a third time in 2020, she said “enough was enough … I was empowered to fight like never before with my faith in God,” she said. Her strength, she said, came from “family, my faith in God and my support group SistersCANcervive. This cancer journey inspired me to live life on purpose, with purpose,” she said. “Keep the faith God has equipped you already, the fight is fixed. You will win. So do not give up.”

Asked what she is most proud of Harris-Cash said, “Starting SistersCANcervive is an achievement of a lifetime. It is going to be my legacy. Just by starting this organization, helping women, and encouraging women has been a life changing experience for me.

“If I can inspire one person, I can inspire the world. It is ongoing. God created something awesome. He gave me the vision and it has just gone ahead of me. We have a board and an auxiliary board. A member committee consisting of sisters working within the community to tell others about what we do. “

For more information on SistersCANcervive visit: SistersCANcervive.org.