An Akron entrepreneur is turning pain into purpose by using his business as a vessel to honor his late mother. According to WKYC, Lavar Jacobs recently opened a breast cancer center to pay homage to his mom who succumbed to the disease 12 years ago.
The center—dubbed the Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource Center—is the first Black-owned breast cancer facility in the state of Ohio. Jacobs, a social entrepreneur who founded the breast cancer awareness nonprofit organization Not Just October, says after witnessing the hurdles his mother faced while fighting the disease, he wanted to cultivate a space where women facing the same obstacles can receive support and resources. The center, which officially opened its doors on May 3, will go beyond providing medical care and take a holistic approach towards helping women who have breast cancer navigate their daily lives. It will provide everything from therapy to financial support and home cleaning services. The center honors women who have lost their lives to breast cancer. Photos of the women line the walls as an ode to their strength and resiliency.
Jacobs says he envisioned creating a facility like the Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource Center since losing his mother in 2009. “I’ve always had the vision of the Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource Center,” he said in a statement. “She didn’t get to do everything she had planned. She deserves more of a legacy. She was my best friend. If you knew me while my mom was still living, you knew how close me and my mom were. I know she’s looking down right now like, ‘That’s my baby. Look what my son’s doing. There he is.'”
Spaces like the Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource Center are needed as disparities surrounding breast cancer care persist.