Breast cancer awareness champion is 11-year survivor

Allison Alexis (third from left) surrounded by cancer survivors, Council General of Trinidad & Tobago in New York, J. Andre Laveau (back row), Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz (ninth) (front row) and NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo at the recently held 7th Annual Queens Cancer Walk in Smokey Park.
Allison Alexis (third from left) surrounded by cancer survivors, Council General of Trinidad & Tobago in New York, J. Andre Laveau (back row), Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz (ninth) (front row) and NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo at the recently held 7th Annual Queens Cancer Walk in Smokey Park.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

“It has not been easy having a breast scan done, because my doctor would always find abnormality in my checkups, which was very frustrating and nerve-wracking,” said breast cancer survivor Allison Alexis, who for the past eleven years has been vigilant in her fight to stay healthy.

Alexis told Caribbean Life recently, her journey has been very difficult, with ups and downs after being diagnosed with the disease in March of 2011. A lumpectomy was performed in April, and immediately after that, treatment of chemotherapy and radiation started, followed by preventative medication, which was changed four times for her to combat the illness. The lady with the heart of a lion, said she was on her way from work one day, when her doctor called to say her screening had showed she had breast cancer. “I cried the entire trip home. I was surprised, but not really surprised in a way.”

“I am doing okay right now. I have highs and lows, because of always being fearful that something irregular would show up after my doctor’s visits, and I would have to endure scans again to make sure I am well,” she said.

Unfortunately, while fighting her battles, Alexis was hit with another blow that her mother had died from pancreatic cancer. This was in January, followed by the death of her brother who was diagnosed with a mass in his stomach, and died in July, both, back in her homeland of Trinidad & Tobago.

Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson presents Allison Alexis with a Citation at the recently held 7th Annual Queens Cancer walk in Smokey Park.
Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson presents Allison Alexis with a Citation at the recently held 7th Annual Queens Cancer walk in Smokey Park.Photo by Tangerine Clarke

“This disease is vicious and can rob you of many things in life, you will never be the same, but take all the time you need, you are on the throne going through this. While it might affect your family you are the one going through it, so cry when you must, laugh when you want to, and take the time to be with yourself, she said, adding, you need to seek out a cancer support group where you can assist each other, she urged.

Alexis, a champion for the cause, who also founded Angels of Hope Cancer Awareness Group, said. “It is not easy but also everyone goes through cancer differently but know there are others out here to help you, you are not alone. I am an advocate for many. Some who are battling the disease, may talk about it, while others may not,” she shared.
“I have been dealing with a lot,” said the brave survivor, who is determined more than ever to fight for her life and that of others, which she has been doing over the last seven years, through her awareness campaign, launched in September 2014.

“It was important for me to start a cancer awareness walk because I saw a need. I asked others and they said yes, we would join the walk. I am the founder, organizer, and host of Queens Cancer Walk.

“The community has been supportive, sharing flyers, coming out every year to attend the walk, and inviting their family and friends to participate. My sister Hazel Alexis, my nephew Damon Dolabaille, my niece Ria Dolabaille, Mohamed Q Amin, Saf Dean, and the DJ’s that volunteer every year, are the reasons for the success of the education about cancer being highlighted.”

“The Professionals, Red Apple Radio Station, friends who volunteer year after year, Rupa Baldeo, Sherry Sissaran, Bibi Amin, Joy Poliah, Angela Vasquez, Karen Stewart, Tricia Narine, to name just a few. They are many others who help behind the scenes some who donate prizes, like Indira Manohar and family as well as the Brown family. It has been a blessing to have such a strong support system in place,” said Alexis.

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