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Busta’s Advocate of the Week: Meet Madeline Long

Madeline Long, founder and executive director of Supporting Our Sisters International and marketing director for BeSure LLC.

Busta’s Advocate of the Week: Meet Madeline Long
November 07
01:15 2019

By Busta Brown

According to research, one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. In America alone, nearly 40, 000 women lose the battle with breast cancer every year. So, it’s only fitting that we have this conversation not only in October, National Breast Cancer Awareness month, but as often as possible during the year. 

Madeline Long’s story is another testimony of surviving and thriving. “In 2011 my mother, my aunt and myself were all diagnosed with breast cancer. My mother and I were only two months apart.” 

The reason I’m sharing another phenomenal woman’s testimony in the fight against breast cancer is because if you or someone you know is fighting this battle, I need you to know you will win! 

Madeline volunteered with The Susan G. Komen Foundation for 10 years, “… so I get a mammogram every year. But mammography has a 20% miss rate, and I was one of the people that it missed. In 2011, after my aunt was diagnosed, she asked my mother to get checked. And after my mother was diagnosed, she asked me to get checked,” said Long. At the time her mother asked, it was earlier than she normally gets a mammogram. “So, if it wasn’t for my mother, I would have probably been late stage. It wasn’t the mammogram that saved my life, it was my mother,” said Madeline. 

This is another amazing story about how early detection is saving lives, so we can’t have this conversation enough. So many women are winning, and so can you. 

Madeline, her mom and her aunt’s beautiful journey didn’t come without some serious challenges. “When my mother was diagnosed, she checked out mentally. That was hard on me, so I wanted to do something about it. We eventually found out what worked for my mother, and she and my aunt are mentally and physically good now. I want to help other women that are diagnosed as well, so I decided to start a nonprofit organization. In my research, I found that African American women weren’t just dying because they have aggressive forms of breast cancer; they’re dying because we lack access to care. Two, we don’t go in when we need to go in. Three, once they’re diagnosed, they check out mentally, and when they check back in, they were late stage. So, I started Madeline Long and Supporting Our Sisters International in 2015 to help African American women do a better job around survivorship.” 

Madeline said a lot of women see the mammogram as very painful, so they avoid it, “Also, a lot of us don’t have the financial means and transportation, so it becomes a barrier.” Madeline’s nonprofit has been extremely effective. “Information and early detection is a life saver,” Long said.

She said because of the fear of pain African American women have of getting a mammogram, “I did more research and began working for a company called BeSure LLC. My nonprofit has a partnership with them to offer exams. The way BeSure exams are done, there is no pain. Secondly, the convenience. We’re adamant about access to care, so ours is done in a mobile suite. We take the mobile suite to different locations throughout the communities. We go to churches and college campus as well. The exams are done in the mobile suite and from the time they walk in and out, it only takes 30 minutes. I’m a breast cancer survivor, so I want to make sure women have the necessary access to get the care they need. We come to you,” she said. 

Long has become one of the most caring and passionate voices and advocates for breast cancer awareness. “When a lot of women say they don’t have the time, you can’t afford not to make time, and with my nonprofit, Supporting Our Sisters International, and the company I work for, I’m working extremely hard to make it easier for women to make that time. Because when you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, your family is as well. So, show them that you love them by taking care of yourself,” the nonprofit founder said with passion, as she was nearly in tears. 

Madeline Long is based out of Maryland, but travels to Winston-Salem, Greensboro and surrounding areas. “I go wherever I can help save lives.” For more information, contact Madeline at 301-494-7315 or visit www.teamsosi.org.

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