Entrepreneur Lavar Jacobs has opened the first Black-owned breast cancer treatment center in the state of Ohio. The Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource Center will offer medical treatment to those who need it in the greater Akron area. Also, the center uses a holistic approach to serve its patients that includes financial support, mental health programs and cleaning services.
"It's a place where women who are battling breast cancer can come get wigs, massages, therapy, help with their finances, help with insurance, the kids have a room where they can hang out while she's receiving services," he explained. Then outdoors, we do lawn care, snow removal, home cleaning, carpet cleaning ... pretty much anything a woman would need that's battling breast cancer," Jacobs told WKYC.
Jacobs also runs a nonprofit called Not Just October that works to fight breast cancer all year-round. His work to combat the fatal disease is inspired by his mother, Kim Jacobs, who passed away due to the disease more than a decade ago. Through the cancer resource center and his various nonprofits, Jacobs hopes to expand his mother's legacy. Unfortunately, Jacobs's story is not all to unfamiliar to many Black families. Although Black women have a lower incidence rate when it comes to breast cancer than white women, Black women are 41% more likely to die from the disease than white women.
"She was my best friend," Jacobs explained.
"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.'"
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