A couple from Philadelphia is ensuring that cancer patients and their loved ones have access to quality healthcare and support. According to Because of Them We Can, Marjani and Al Harris created the only Black-owned cancer center in the country.
For Marjani and Al, the battle against cancer hits home. Ten years ago, they had three family members who were fighting different types of the disease at the same time. While supporting their loved ones they noticed there was a lack of spaces that merged treatments with wellness and decided to open The Cancer Who Cares Center. “We noticed that there was no center where people with cancer could go to decompress, and let their emotions out, but also be treated with a sense of normalcy,” Al told the news outlet. “All of our programs are free because we want to support the person and their family without them having to worry about paying for anything.”
The center has a variety of programs to provide emotional and mental care for patients, including spa days, forums and yoga classes. The couple hopes that their journey will inspire other individuals in the Black community to break barriers in whatever industry they choose to pursue. “We feel proud that we can show our children and the rest of our culture that you can always be the first at something even when you feel like you are in last place,” Al stated.
There are several Black entrepreneurs who are creating spaces where people of color can receive proper care and support. Earlier this year a group of African American medical professionals joined forces to open up Chicago’s only Black-owned urgent care facility. In 2018, Dr. Tamara Moise and Wadson Fils opened the doors to Big Apple Urgent Care, Brooklyn’s first Black-owned urgent care center.