Home

First Black-Owned Cancer Center In The U.S. Opens in Philadelphia

By Danielle Dorsey

Share

A Black couple from Philadelphia is creating community among cancer patients and their loved with their Cancer Who? Cares Center. Launched in February of this year, the Center furthers Al and Marjani Harris’ work supporting those affected by cancer by providing a space where they can receive resources and care.

Ten years ago, when Al and Marjani had three relatives battling different types of cancer at the same time, they were shocked to find no support groups or facilities to assist in the emotional processing of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Upon further research, they found that most care centers were owned by hospitals or organizations and none of them were Black-owned.

Black people have the highest mortality rate and shortest survival of any ethnic group in the US for most cancers (American Cancer Society). This, plus disparities in health care, underline the importance of a center that prioritizes the unique needs of Black cancer patients and their families.

In an interview with Because Of Them We Can, Al shared that, “We noticed that there was no center where people with cancer could go to decompress, and let their emotions out, but also be treated with a sense of normalcy.”

The nonprofit offers comprehensive support for their members before, during, and after treatment and all of their programs are free. They host weekly activities that range from yoga classes to spa days to ring the bell ceremonies to celebrate cancer-free diagnosis. They also provide support beyond business hours by attending appointments with their members.

Marjani and Al are part of a movement of Black entrepreneurs entering the health care space. Earlier this year, a group of Black medical experts joined forces to open up Chicago’s only Black-owned urgent care center. In 2018, Dr. Tamara Moise and Wadson Filks opened Big Apple Urgent Care, which became the first Black-owned urgent care facility in Brooklyn.

For the Harris’, opening the Center was a dream come true. “It’s a dream to be the first of any kind to do anything but to be the first from our culture is amazing just because of the people that came before us and the things that they created,” Al said. “We feel proud that we can show our children and the rest of our culture that you can always be the first at something even when you feel like you are in last place.”

Keep up with the Harris’ and the Cancer Who? Care Center on Facebook.

Share
Travel Noire

Danielle Dorsey

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

How This Black Travel Influencer Is Helping Others Connect With  Their Roots In Africa

How This Black Travel Influencer Is Helping Others Connect With Their Roots In Africa

Rashad McCrorey’s passion for social justice and traveling is what inspired him to create Africa Cross Culture, a travel company that has allowed him to help more than 100 African Americans reconnect with their roots. Raised in Harlem, NY, McCrorey is committed to leading the resurgence of African American travelers back to Africa. “Some people […]

Parker Diakite

Meet The Black Woman Helping To Showcase Detroit’s Small Businesses

Meet The Black Woman Helping To Showcase Detroit’s Small Businesses

Jennyfer Crawford is a household name in Detroit where she’s known among the community to advocate for small businesses. As the founder of Ask Jennyfer, and host of Ask Jennyfer the Podcast, she has used her experience and expertise to help small business owners start or grow their businesses. RELATED: Detroit Restaurant Is Serving Lessons In […]

Parker Diakite

The Best Black-Owned Restaurants In London

The Best Black-Owned Restaurants In London

London is rich in Black culture and there’s no better way to explore that diversity than through the food. RELATED: How To Spend A Day In Black-Owned London From the Caribbean, West Africa, and influences from the United States’ southern cuisine, here are the best black-owned restaurants in London to try. RELATED: London’s Newest Dessert […]

Parker Diakite