First Lady Jill Biden has teamed up with superstar Mary J. Blige to raise awareness for cancer.
Helmed by the Biden Administration, the American Cancer Society announced that they will be holding national meetings on the subject of breast and cervical cancer. As Biden said, the society aims to fund research that will “help us end cancer as we know it. For good.”
The First Lady invited the R&B artist to speak at a White House press conference that announced the event, as Blige is personally familiar with the devastating effects of cancer.
Blige shared she's lost multiple family members to breast, cervical and lung cancer. Beyond that, she pointed out that cancer rates disproportionately affect the Back community. Breast cancer is the number one cause of death among Black and Latino women.
Misconceptions about healthcare often discourage Black women from seeking treatment, Blige said, citing “the practice of not wanting other people in our business." Through the Black Women's Health Imperative, the musician has urged Women of Color to receive regular breast cancer screenings.
Blige shared that her relatives never had access to information surrounding cancer screenings. She said that if they had been informed, “they would have a different outcome today."
Biden has also experienced losing a loved on to cancer, as her son Beau died in 2015 from brain cancer. She's spent the majority of her time as First Lady travelling to persuade women across the country to get screened for cancer, since they may have skipped a checkup or two during the pandemic.
Biden thanked Blige for “lending your powerful voice to this cause," then explained that the roundtable would increase research for cancer, and invest in new treatments going forward. She shared the goal is to create "a future where we don't have to be afraid of the word cancer anymore.”