Tanika Taylor, Founder of the Pink Heart Foundation based in Chicago, Illinois, joined me on the podcast this week. Tanika shared her grandmother’s experience with breast cancer and talked about barriers to care and mistrust of the medical professionals within the African American community. She shared how the Pink Heart Foundation supports African American women impacted by breast cancer.
Tanika Taylor founded the Pink Heart Foundation in 2018 after losing her grandmother to breast cancer the previous year. Her grandmother battled breast cancer for approximately 14 years. She had been in remission for approximately 8-9 years before it returned.
Tanika saw a need within the African American community for increased awareness of breast cancer. In addition, she saw a need for support for those impacted by breast cancer. She realized that not everyone has the same support system and does not want anyone to feel that they are alone.
Tanika talked about the distrust of the medical community, as well as financial barriers. She recalled that her grandmother was almost turned away for cancer treatment due to a copay. Sometimes people have to be seen in the emergency room or just ignore potential symptoms when answers are not provided by their primary care physician. Not everyone has the financial means to be seen in the ER. In addition, some people don’t have insurance at all. Another issue is that people are treated differently based on the type of insurance they have and based on the color of their skin. Tanika feels that if there is no help from the medical professionals, then the African American community has to help one another.
Pink Heart Foundation hosts a breast cancer awareness and survivor brunch. In collaboration with local African American businesses, they provide lunch, education, vendors, and entertainment. It is an opportunity for survivors to have a good time and connect with others that have been impacted by breast cancer. The foundation also hosted a softball tournament as a fundraiser. All funds raised are given to survivors to help support them financially in whatever way is beneficial for that person. As the foundation grows, Tanika hopes to assist individuals with medical care that they cannot afford.
To get in touch with Tanika, please email her at Thepinkheartfoundation@gmail.com or follow her on Instagram at PinkHeartFoundation1