Philly Couple Opens First Black-Owned Cancer Support Center

August 12, 2019  |  

Love sculpture and pink water fountain

Source: Jerry Driendl / Getty

Cancer sucks. And it does so much more than ravage your body, it can break your spirit. Having a solid support system is crucial, which is why we say that this Philadelphia couple is doing the Lord’s work.

In 2019, Al and Marjani Harris opened the first-ever black-owned cancer support center. According to the Philadelphia Tribune, the Harris’ started their nonprofit organization, Cancer WHO? back in 2013 before going on to open up their first physical location this year.

“This is our dream,” said Marjani Harris, Cancer WHO? Co-founder. “It’s more people we can support. We can bring all the families we support together and run our programs out of it.”

Since its inception in 2013, Cancer WHO? has provided cancer patients with a wide range of services from securing financial resources to accompanying them to chemotherapy, radiation, and doctor’s visits. In addition, the organization plans outings, spa days, and sports events for patients and their families.

The Harrises hope that the Cares Center will serve as a mental and emotional safe haven for patients and help to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives despite the disruptions caused by the disease.

“To have this center, it means we will have a place where we run our programs. Our kids and families can come together and know exactly what we are going to be doing when we are going to be doing it,” said Marjani. “To have a home base, it means everything to us.”

The phenomenal duo was inspired to launch the nonprofit after the disease hit close to home when three of their relatives were diagnosed with the deadly illness.

“Cancer really hit us hard and we were looking for extra support and couldn’t find it, so we decided to create our own,” Al told Because of Them We Can. “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. 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.”

To learn more about Cancer WHO? and how you can support their selfless efforts, visit them on Instagram @Cancer_Who.

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