The White Dress Project Fights for National Fibroid Awareness Month
By Lyndia Grant
Special to the NNPA from The Washington Informer
According to the National Institutes of Health, most American women will develop fibroids at some point in their lives. One study found that, by age 50, 70 percent of whites and 80 percent of African-Americans had fibroids. In many cases, fibroids are believed not to cause symptoms, and in such cases women may be unaware they have them.
Tanika Gray Valbrun, the founder of The White Dress Project, a nonprofit organization that seeks to galvanize support and promote national awareness about the fibroid epidemic, is the subject of this story. During my interview with her, she shared, “It was my mother’s story and my own that propelled me to action, my mom had several miscarriages, finally birthing me. Then, I’ve had my own battle with fibroids.”
A magical combination, her personal desire coupled with forceful writing and branding experience, has put The White Dress Project on the map in only one short year of strategic plans and moves, achieving what normally takes years for most.
Founded in Atlanta, The White Dress Project will host a Congressional Black Caucus reception this year here in Washington to further promote this cause. The event will be held at The La Tasca Spanish Tapas Restaurant and Bar located at 722 Seventh St. NW. The organization is asking for a $10 donation if you would like to attend. Valbrun said, “It is not mandatory for you to wear white; however, white is the preferred color.”
Let’s take a look at the tremendous amount of progress this organization has made in record time. Already, some places have passed resolutions to declare July Fibroid Awareness Month, such as New York, Florida and New Orleans. The goal is to establish the month of July as National Fibroid Awareness Month.
A group of legislators convened to see what was being done regarding fibroids in Georgia, and that bill was passed.
In Washington, Congressman David Scott of Georgia, along with co-sponsor Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland, introduced a bill that designated July 2015 as Uterine Fibroids Awareness Month.
“After meeting with my constituent, Tanika Gray Valbrun, I learned that uterine fibroids are a serious health problem affecting many American women,” Congressman Scott said. “I also learned that African-American women are disproportionately affected by uterine fibroid tumors. Tanika’s efforts through The White Dress Project have raised awareness of this condition. Yet it has not received the attention or the funding it deserves. I am promoting Uterine Fibroid Awareness Month to educate more women about their treatment options.”
“I thank Congressman Scott for joining me during National Women’s Health Week to introduce this important resolution recognizing the most prevalent medical condition affecting women, as an estimated 80 percent of women develop an uterine fibroid by age 50,” Edwards said. “We need to recognize the need for greater uterine fibroid research and the disparity rates of African-American and Hispanic uterine fibroid patients.”
The Essence Festival was held in July in New Orleans, and Valbrun was asked to speak to bring awareness. She, her board of directors and others are partnering with health agencies such as the Council on Women and Girls and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Support this worthy cause by sharing this story in your newsletter or at your health forums. Plus, you can contact Edwards to show your support.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own. 1st Corinthians 6:19.
Lyndia Grant is an author, inspirational and motivational speaker, radio talk show host and columnist; visit her website at www.lyndiagrant.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-558-2107. Tune in Fridays at 6 p.m to the radio talk show, 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One Station.