During the afternoon of Saturday, June 24, at Harlem’s Morningside Park (123rd Street and Morningside Avenue) Shades of a Cure conducted a daylong event that helped heighten awareness about a very serious topic affecting inner-city communities nationwide—cancer. For the past six years they’ve focused on various forms of the debilitating disease, but this year they aimed exclusively at men.

“Although we like to bring awareness about all forms of cancer, at this event we shared information about a form of cancer that doesn’t get that much attention, information is lacking within our community,” noted the event’s organizer, Diamond Shammgod. “So this year we chose prostate cancer, and we handed out a lot of information in regards to that.”

Although this leading killer of middle-aged Black men has claimed many lives in recent years, some herbalists have suggested that a way to alleviate the negative results is by eliminating processed and refined foods from one’s diet. Ample literature was provided to the approximately 800 attendees.

“We started because we realized there was a lack of information about cancer in our communities and there was a need for it,” explained Shammgod. “We also created two coloring books to help children understand what cancer is. The first year we started with about 40 people, and it has grown since then. We’ve worked closely with different organizations, and we donated funds to cancer survivors. This year we’re offering grants that assists with doctor visits, copayments and another one for survivors to help them get back on their feet.”

She also explained that there were various activities that included a brisk walk around Morningside Park at noon by several cancer survivors, as well other activities for children.

“We wanted to bring awareness, not just about prostate cancer, also other forms of cancer,” stated Shammgod. “We also wanted to help build a strong support system. Sometimes people feel like they have to fight this battle alone, or they don’t have the support, or they’re afraid to go to larger organizations, or they just don’t know where to turn, and that’s what our organization does. We like to provide that support and unite people that are going through the same thing, with hopes that they can help them through this journey.”

For more information, visit shadesofacure.org.