HYPERLOCAL NEWS HUB BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM
Cooper-Young Residents Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness
By Vivian Haynes/MicroMemphis reporter
Divas think Pink t-shirts
October 7, 2011
In Beyonce's hit single titled "Diva,"she defines a diva as a female version of a hustler.
However, to the faculty and staff of Peabody Elementary, a diva is a divine, intelligent, victorious and anointed sister — much like their own, Margie Katz and Donna Wilkes.
Mrs. Katz is a first grade teacher at Peabody Elementary and a stage two cancer survivor.
She said what helped her fight through it was her support system, which included her immediate and extended family, along with her work group at the Teaching and Learning Academy.
"My work group [at the Teaching and Learning Academy] was my salvation because they treated me like I was just fine and that's what I needed for me to keep going," Mrs. Katz said.
Now as a teacher, a friend and a survivor, she extends the support to her fellow diva, Donna Wilkes, a secretary at Peabody Elementary and cancer patient. Ms. Wilkes underwent surgery during the first week of October. The day before her surgery, Katz said her colleague was "surrounded with care" from students, parents and co-workers as they showered her with support by wearing pink t-shirts, making cards and posters and decorating the school in pink
"We wanted to make sure she knows we are here for her," Kongsously Jones, principal at Peabody Elementary, said. Jones said getting the kids involved also helps raise awareness.
"It's not good enough to just read and write about it. You have to educate them as well, and this can be done in the little things," the principal said.
As a part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the students are encouraged to donate anything from a nickel to a dollar. The goal is to collect $500 and the money will be donated to the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k Walk on Oct. 15.
Katz hopes the visual element of the school's support — the ribbons and pink shirts — will extend beyond the school gates and throughout the community.
"This is something the kids are not going to forget," Katz said.
These pictures are from The Friends of Peabody Facebook page.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
American Cancer Society, Memphis Hope Lodge
American Cancer Society-Memphis facebook page
Vivian Haynes / MicroMemphis Reporter
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