Survivor’s story: ‘Resilience, faith and a powerful support team.’

Cheryl Alston joins models at Sisters United cancer awareness event.

Credit: Napoleon Biles

Credit: Napoleon Biles

Fifteen cancer survivors modeled clothing from Gill Mart & Co and Schneider’s Florists during the Sisters United for Prevention’s 20th Anniversary Cancer Awareness Luncheon and Style Show. Here is the story of one.

Cheryl Alston was a mere 11 when her mother died of breast cancer. “And for a couple of decades, I subconsciously believed I would not live to the age of 36,” she said.

Nor was her mother her only loss to cancer. Her mother’s mother died of stomach cancer at 75, and Alston’s father of colon cancer at 70.

“When I began to hear and understand God a little better, I realized that He made my mother and I, but He did not make us the same,” she said. “He had a purpose for her life, and He has one for my life.”

“On July 8, 2021, I was diagnosed with ductal-carcinoma-in situ (meaning it had not metastasized),” she said. But the phone call “that could have turned my world upside down” did not, she said. It instead “became a testament to resilience, faith and a powerful support team.”

After “what felt like a going-away-to-surgery party” with friends at Central State University’s 2022 Homecoming, she had a final surgery, and on Jan 25, 2023 – after 30 rounds of radiation treatment – “I celebrated not just the end of treatment, but the beginning of a new chapter … filled with hope, gratitude and an unwavering commitment to prevention and proactive health.”

Now, having surpassed the ages “of both of my beautiful parents,” she said, “I urge each one of you to prioritize your health. From head to toe let us be vigilant in our pursuit of wellness, embracing prevention measures and regular checkups.”

About the Author