My mother battled breast cancer until the age of 47, and for most of my teenage life I remember every few years having to process the change that came with being excited to be “in remission” only to be surprised that it recurred somewhere else.

The definition of a warrior, her near impossible battle with breast cancer spanned over 13 years of her adult life and consisted of many setbacks and miraculous breakthroughs. …


When I was younger, I lived with my grandmother, brother, aunts, cousins, and family friends all in a modest home in the quiet fishing town of Tema, Ghana. Having this many family members often triggers memories of mischievous antics between cousins, bellyfuls of laughter and cherished moments of bonding. It being in the late 90s and Ghana being Ghana, we were not exempt to frequent blackouts. In developing countries, blackouts were and are still very common. They are so common that houses often have generators and back-up electrical systems in the case that blackouts, or “dumsor” (“light off” in Twi) as we refer to it, should occur. While our family made a decent living, we didn’t have the luxury of owning a generator. So whenever a blackout happened, we would come outside with our white plastic lawn chairs, arrange ourselves in a circle, and use the moonlight as our lantern as we dazed in the Ghanian heat. …

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