This year, we had the opportunity to partner with True&Co on their True Body Front Closure + Bra which was inspired by and designed specifically with survivors in mind. Through this partnership, we also got to speak with Ericka Hart.
We’ve been fans of Ericka Hart for a long time. She is a super badass sexuality educator, activist, writer, and self-proclaimed breast “cancer-warrior”. You’ve probably seen photos of her topless at Afropunk or on platforms like Buzzfeed and Allure. Ericka found her own lump back in May 2014. Learn a little more about Ericka and her experience below.
If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
A clownfish, I love to swim and that orange and white is ca-ute!
When was your diagnosis and how old were you?
May 2014 I was diagnosed, I was 28 years old.
How did you find out you had breast cancer?
I did a self-exam in the shower and found a lump. I then went to a breast cancer surgeon and was diagnosed after having a mammogram, needle biopsy, and MRI.
Who was the first person you confided in about your illness?
My Dad. In retrospect, he was the best person to have spoken to. I needed someone to cheer me up and not be as vocally upset. He has always kept his cool and mourned privately, he made sure to find ways to make me laugh in the midst of me feeling like the world was falling apart.
Tell us something about yourself that people probably don’t know?
People probably don’t know that I performed at Amateur Night at the Apollo in 2011, which was probably the scariest thing I have ever done. The audience will boo you off stage if you don’t do well, so I was quite nervous.
After your treatment, what do you now make time for in your day?
Acupuncture, massages, yoga, rest!
If you could be a superhero, what would your superpowers be?
My superpower would be to eradicate systems of oppression.
What advice would you give to someone recently diagnosed?
Resist the notion that having breast cancer is a sad existence or a death sentence. They are both not true, and you get to live with a chronic illness in the ways that fulfill you.
If someone wrote a biography about you what would the title be?
She Never Sat Still (hahaha!)
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Being Black is beautiful and enough.
What was the toughest challenge you faced?
My mother dying when I was 13.
When do you laugh the most?
Laughing is my medicine, but the most, with my partner.
If you could go back in time to any event, what would it be?
Singing “Didn’t we almost have it all” with my Mom in my Grandmother’s living room when I was 5.
If you could travel anywhere where would it be and why?
Spain, I’ve never been and I want to learn how to nap starting with a siesta.
“Resist the notion that having breast cancer is a sad existence or a death sentence. They are both not true, and you get to live with a chronic illness in the ways that fulfill you.” – Ericka Hart