Freddie White-Johnson, M.P.P.A.
Growing up on a plantation in Ruleville, Mississippi, the daughter of a sharecropper and losing my father to lung cancer gave me an insight of what I needed to do in life to become successful. My fight with cancer began November in 1977, when cancer took my father’s life.
My father, who had no education was born, reared, and died in the rural Mississippi Delta where poverty is rampant and healthcare coverage didn’t exist. During that time when the economy was slowed and the cost for healthcare was escalating, underserved Delta residents (including my father) paid the price through reduced life expectancy and higher rates of cancer and heart disease.
On his death bed at the hospital in Clarksdale, MS, he said to me, “Freddie, you need to get a good education and use your education to make a difference by helping the poor people.” Since the death of my father, I have chosen to become an advocate for the underserved, as I once was.
With God’s blessing and the support of my family, The University of Southern Mississippi, faith-based organizations, politicians, business leaders, educators, and other community leaders, we have taken the late Fannie Lou Hamer’s legacy and formed a community cancer health resource in Mississippi known as the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation.
With the same indomitable spirit of Mrs. Hamer, we at The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation are not letting the odds deter us from taking on a powerful foe. I, too, like Ms. Hamer, know first-hand the hard life of a sharecropper, but I pray I will never experience personal loss such as hers, the physical trauma as a civil rights leader, and her painful death due to untreated breast cancer
Today, we are witnessing notable progress in combating the disease and addressing disparities among minorities through strategic partnerships involving researchers, public institutions, and private supporters. Although we are pleased with the resulting promising outcomes, we recognize that we still have major challenges ahead. With your help, we can leave a lasting tribute in her memory through the work we do to reduce the rate of cancer and health disparities in Mississippi, especially in the Mississippi Delta.
Within a short distance of Mrs. Hamer’s birthplace in Ruleville, Mississippi, we have purchased two acres of land for the future headquarters of the Foundation that will also include a regional institute for the promotion of cancer awareness, education, physical activity, a healthy diet, and early detection. We have launched a $5.5 million capital campaign for the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation’s state-of-the art headquarters, a 15,700 square-foot building. Our determined commitment to combating the disease has made these tangible steps possible.
Will you please join me in making a commitment to fight cancer? The lives of many affected by the disease will be improved and your generosity serves as a lasting legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, who fought for social justice for all mankind. Every donation makes a difference, regardless of size. Thank you in advance for your commitment to support the efforts of the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation.
Please make a tax-deductible donation to the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation and mail it to the Foundation at Post Office Box 755, Ruleville, MS 38771. We remain eternally grateful to you for all you do to help REACH one, TEACH one, and SAVE one.