She recently held her annual Bare Chest for Cancer, her very own brain child event. When asked about the unique concept which includes bare chest male models walking down the runway, champagne and an evening of pampering, Steele said " Well, I work in urban hip hop radio, I had to take something that happened to me and give it my own flavor."
Knowing that a greater percentage of her fan base are African Americans, Steele informs the public, "More white women will be diagnosed with breast cancer but more Black women will die from it." Why? Because of factors like lack of medical insurance. She found her lump on her breast and immediately went to the doctor. Stricken with emotion Steele asked the doctor, "Why did it happen to me?"
Since her battle with cancer she has made some lifestyle changes. She notes, "No two breast cancers are alike." Steele believes there is something to be said for organic food. She made changes to liquor consumption, exercises more and is an advocate of prayer or meditation. She adds, " The mind is very powerful."
Touched by her story, I relayed to her that my grandmother lost a breast to cancer but survived. Recalling my grandmother putting breast cancer stamps on envelopes, I can truly appreciate Ebony Steele's passion to raise awareness. Thus I had to say to Ebony, "It seems to me you are not just a survivor but a hero carrying banner in a battle against cancer. Your story didn't have to be so public. Why did you allow it to be? She responded " I've always been an open book. I think not to share it is like not saying anything. I have large scars. When you go through it, you automatically become of a sorority. " After four rounds of chemo, stage one, Steele says she feels better.
Lastly, I asked her about her favorite comfort foods and the memories that go along with it. She said:
I know this sounds bad but I eat chicken every day of the week. There is something about fried chicken, my grandmother's chicken . When my mom was too tired to cook she would bring home KFC. When I worked at Applebees I would eat chicken fingers. I know it sounds stereotypical but there are so many things you can do with chicken from Asian to pasta dishes.
Thanks for being an open book Ms. Steele. Sharing your story does a world of good. - Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor