National Health Week continues with seminar

National Health Week entered its third day Wednesday with a breast cancer seminar, Bold and Breastless.

Breast cancer survivor Shondia McFadden-Sabari shared her story on her battle with cancer. On Dec. 23, 2010, McFadden-Sabari was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36. The Atlanta native was nervous when she discovered she had breast cancer.

"I have no family history of breast cancer," McFadden-Sabari said. "I have never been sick before."

Talking about breast cancer was considered a social taboo until former first lady Betty Ford candidly revealed her diagnosis to the public. The breast cancer advocate travels around the country telling her story. She encourages women to get mammograms.

"I had no lumps, no discomfort and no discharge," Ford said. "Nothing to make me think I had breast cancer."

Ford had a bilateral mastectomy and is cancer-free now.

McFadden-Sabari informed attendees that her faith in God got her through this chapter in her life.

"I am thankful to God for giving me breast cancer," she said. "It was all a part of God's plan in my life."

McFadden-Sabari believes this experience made her acquaintance with God grow into a deeper and meaningful relationship with God.

"I will continue to thank God everyday for completely healing my body and for allowing me to be cancer free," she said. "I am just so thankful that God had allowed me to have this experience, so I am no longer devastated about the news I received that December I was diagnosed with breast cancer."

The seminar was one of the featured events during National Health Week. Beginning Monday, students were invited to get free HIV testing and flu shots in the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center.

"I encourage them to get tested," said Derae Laster, 18, a physical therapy student from Graceville, Fla. It will help students "learn more about the diseases."

Patrick Holmes, a first-year environmental science student from Tallahassee, said this event served its purpose.

 "The purpose of the event is to inform people, so as long as people stop and read, then it will serve its purposes," Holmes said. "I want the students to take their health into account because the body is like a temple."

Dr. Maria U. Okeke, a professor of health, physical education and recreation, said the booths were important to people who are unaware of their health status.

"I encourage people to stop by and get tested," Okeke said. "Early detection is one of our greatest weapons."

For more information on breast cancer, contact the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER or visit Contact McFadden-Sabari at shondiasabari@gmail.comor her website