Voices of Impact – Josh Morgan, Washington D.C. – Co-Survivor, Advocate
“I plan to honor my godmother, Sonja Strickland, and ‘Make Mom Proud’ at this year’s Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure by serving as the Local Race Ambassador, forming a Race team and fundraising on her behalf.”
“That is why I work with Komen. They are the ones making sure that all types of moms and women throughout the high-risk region of Washington D.C. have the chances my godmother has had.”
Sonja Strickland is my everything. She’s my best friend. She’s my mother. She’s not my biological mother, but there’s family outside of family. We all know that. She took me in; she raised me. She’s the reason I’m here today.
So when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, I decided I would be part of the reason that she is with me today and for many more days to come. And that’s why I plan to honor my godmother, Sonya Strickland, and “Make Mom Proud” at this year’s Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure by serving as the Local Race Ambassador, forming a Race team and fundraising on her behalf.
It’s fitting that the 24th annual Komen Global Race takes place on May 11 —Mother’s Day weekend. We all know “mom” can mean many sorts of “moms” — birth mother, stepmom, grandma, godmother. My godmother is a survivor of triple negative breast cancer and she’s the strongest women I’ve met. And I’m sure I’m not alone in having a woman like her my life. So by showing your support for the Global Race, you’re not only honoring your own mom, but mothers and women everywhere.
That is why I work with Komen. They are the ones making sure that all types of moms and women throughout the high-risk region of Washington D.C. have the chances my godmother has had. It’s getting harder and harder, especially for underinsured women in the District — like in the areas of Wards 7 & 8 — to have access to quality health care. I was shocked to hear that clinics and programs in the D.C. area requested $14 million in grants in 2012 — but unfortunately only $1.5 million was available to be granted to the community. And Washington, D.C. has some of the highest death rates from the disease. There’s much more to be done.
People need Komen. Some people think they need people like me, out there playing football on Sundays. Some of these people see the sport as some type of cure for whatever they’re going through in life. Watching football on Sunday, that sometimes helps them. But people need Komen a lot more than they need me playing football. People need to hear the survivors’ stories—their struggles to get transportation to a doctor or to find someone to explain their threat from breast cancer in language they can understand. In other words, the exact things that the 18 Komen grantees in the Washington area provide to women. People need to hear these stories. And I will do all I can to tell them in hopes of getting people to join in this fight!
I think people need to see God-like acts staring them in the face. People need to see things like that to give them some type of hope, some type of faith. And I know that when people see the thousands of survivors joining together on the National Mall on May 11, people will feel the motivation I have to help the strong, beautiful women — like my godmother — remain that way!
*Josh is a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins (NFL).
Learn more about the Komen Global Race for the Cure – May 11, 2013.
About the author
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.