This week is observed as National Minority Cancer Awareness Week and we’ll be highlighting Cervivor community members that identify within this population. Cervical cancer survivor and patient advocate, Tiera Wade shares the inspiration behind her journey with her small business.
“Traditionally, waist beads have been worn in West African culture for various reasons. Some of those reasons are adornment, accountability, spirituality, and honoring the power our wombs hold.
My reasons started to be intentional with expanding my family in hopes of having another child. As a small business owner, I started to incorporate this intentional art of making waist beads into my business. In that process, I connected with other women looking for healing, grounding, mindfulness, and acceptance.
When I found out I had cervical cancer all of the love, time, and intent, I soon felt betrayed. This womb that I was honoring and loving was now trying to kill me. I cut off every single one of those 28 strands and prepared for treatment.
Shortly after starting treatment, I received a package in the mail, and this package contained a strand from another maker across the country. My waist bead sister sent a note with her handmade strand, “This too shall pass.”
A few days later, I would receive another one and another. This continued throughout my treatments. When I was declared NED (no evidence of disease). I took those waist beads that were created in and with love and tied them on my waist. Each strand as gentle reminders that I’m loved and thanking my womb for a job well done, and she could rest.
Today, as a survivor, I use waist beads now to educate others. I share my why and Cervivors message. Telling them to prioritize themselves, love their bodies in the journey, and their health.”
Tiera Wade is a cervical cancer survivor and thriver turned patient advocate. She resides in the great state of Ohio and she is a small business owner and artisan designer of Set Trendz where she encourages others to be bold and be different.