My name is Sheila Taylor-Clark. I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, colleague, and friend. I am also like 1 in 8 women - I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not once, but twice. GOD's grace has allowed me to be here to watch my child grow...share good days with my husband....take care of clients at work. But more importantly, HIS grace has allowed me to turn my personal pain with dealing with breast cancer into a promise. The promise I made to my mother-in-law who died way too young of breast cancer at age 46. You see, I promised her I would make sure that her children were taken care of and supported. I also promised her that I would actively get involved in finding a cure and helping other women who were diagnosed with breast cancer.
A year later, at age 34, I was still stricken with grief and trying to find my way to honor the last part of that promise. And then I received my own diagnosis. It led me to the Bridge Breast Network where I joined the Board and started down the road of advocacy for uninsured women diagnosed with breast cancer. You see…no woman should die of breast cancer because she lacks resources. Because she is too poor to pay for medical care AND pay her family’s household bills at the same time. Because she is uninsured or the insurance she can afford has a deductible she cannot meet. At the Bridge Breast Network for the next 10 years and counting, I also found my purpose. I am here to honor my mother-in-law’s life and legacy….and my own two battles with breast cancer. I am truly blessed and HONORED to be a breast cancer survivor, but I am PROUD to be a breast cancer advocate. Through my work with the Bridge Breast Network (where I now serve as Board President), I became connected to both the Komen Dallas and Komen North Texas Affiliates where I serve on Race Committees and Speakers Bureaus and where I volunteer for health fairs, to further raise awareness about breast cancer and breast health and share my story to inspire others to action. I have also had the pleasure of being selected in 2014 as Major League’s Baseball’s Honorary Bat Girl for the Texas Rangers for going to bat against cancer and an Everyday Hero for Komen Dallas’ 2014 Race for the Cure.
My fight also opened the door for me to found my own non-profit “Sock It To Cancer”, providing comfort items to women in treatment for breast cancer and scholarships for students who have lost a parent to breast cancer. Each platform has given me more opportunity to highlight The Bridge Breast Network and the important work we do saving lives of women in North Texas. Providing them access to FREE medical care where sure death is replaced by life. I have cried with these women who have been so thankful to the Bridge Breast Network for that gift. And each time they cry, I feel my mother-in-law’s spirit smiling within me. Happy that through pain (the pain of losing her…the pain of radiation…the pain of chemotherapy and losing so much in my own personal battle) I have both honored the promise and found my true purpose.
When I was told in April 2014 that I had breast cancer, I felt like someone socked me in my stomach.