( ENSPIRE COMMUNITY ) Carmelita Jeter’s Race for Breast Cancer Awareness Continues
Known as the Fastest Woman Alive. Carmelita “The Jet” Jeter is the top American sprinter with three Olympic medals and world record holder. Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns and as human beings we have nothing but a split second to choose how we can live the rest of our life based on trials and tribulations. I had the opportunity to talk with her about her role as a breast cancer advocate, her insights on awareness and what she has going on. I felt it was important to get her point of view and story across so it can reach those who maybe unaware.
Ese: What motivated you to become a Breast Cancer Awareness advocate?
Carmelita: They always say something has to touch close to home to be aware or apart of something. It’s true and that was my case. I knew nothing, I was not a breast cancer activist. In 2009 it home for me, my Aunt Brenda Washington was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It made you look at it differently. I was not educated, I didn’t think black people could get. I never really heard of African Americans getting breast cancer. I really was not educated. I had to start to know what was going on because now its home, its in my house. I spoke to Nike, and asked if they could make me a special pink spike. They made me a spike that It was not for sale, no one else would be wearing it and that represented my Aunt Brenda from the time she fought her fight to past her fight was over.
E: Tell us about your experience sharing your story and trying to inform and educate everyone else.
C: As she was fighting it was easier for me to share my story. I was more energetic and happy because she was fighting. In 2012 when she passed away it was hard because I loved this woman. It made me question my faith. I was emotional when I did interviews. I caught more people’s attention because they could feel my pain. It made more people pay attention to more to the issue as well as my story.
E: What other type of campaigns have you been involved with?
C: I tried to do so much stuff in honor of my Aunt. I started with Susan G. Komen and then Nike sponsored my shirts. The first year was the most emotional, she passed away the morning of the run. I didn’t think anyone was going to show up. I didn’t want to show up. My fans and so many people wanted to do it. My pr was calling me and I said I cannot do this. My cousin, my Aunt’s daughter said suck it up your gonna do this. Now this is the daughter of my Aunt who just lost her mother. If she is saying she is going to do it, then I have no reason not to. The first year we did it without her. My Aunt was supposed to be there. As the years went on it was great, we made it a family thing. Everything was jus amazing. I started first with my event, then I became an ambassador for Susan G. Komen’s California Circle of Promise Initiative designed to promote breast cancer awareness among African American women. Then I wanted to do things with smaller campaigns who did not have the money like Susan G. Komen.