Tag Archives: cancer

In Dedication to Mark England

On January 18, 2014, the very talented Mark England left this Earth.

Some people call him their stylist. I refer to him as the man who cultivated my style.

Some people call him fashionable. I refer to him as a fashion guru.

Some people call him inspirational. I refer to him as a mentor.

Some people call him Mark. I refer to him as my friend.

It’s been a long time since I lost someone who I cared a great deal about. Mark England was one of the few people in my life who I knew was genuinely concerned about my success. The only thing he expected of me was for me to do my very best. That was very important to me. I’m glad I didn’t wait until the end to tell him that I cared about him and how important he was to my life and career.

Mark will be laid to rest before his family, friends and celebrity clientele on February 1, 2014. I’m extremely sad about the death of my friend, but I know my friend would expect me to continue moving forward with my career plans to the best of my ability in spite of my grief. So that is what I’m trying to do. Mark England had such a positive influence on me that I have decided to dedicate my upcoming book “Breaking Through the Black Ceiling” to his memory with a portion of sales of the book going to Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, pending their approval. I also dedicated the Friday, January 24, 2014 broadcast of The FabLife Radio Show to Mark’s memory. Mark and I had made plans for him to be a guest on the show this year. Since that can’t happen, dedicating a show to him and dedicating my book to his memory are the very least that I can do for someone who did so much for me over the last few years.

The Mark England Collection wasn’t just clothes, it was the embodiment of style, grace, class, and haute couture. Mark England took me from pretty to amazing. Mark made cameras flash at me even though photographers had no idea who I was, and often didn’t bother to ask. Mark England gave me a reason to embrace my feminine curves with every dress he made for me and every ensemble he personally selected for me. Mark made me look ten times more confident than I may have felt inside every time I walked into a room or stood before an audience. Mark England will forever be an influence on me and how I do business and what I wear. I thank God I had the chance to have such a wonderfully inspiring person in my life while I did.

If there is someone in your life that means a great deal to you, please take a moment to tell them so. 

 

Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  It’s celebrated nationally with events, conferences and activities.  We celebrate the survivors and commemorate those we have lost to breast cancer, regardless of who they are, by wearing pink, making donations and getting involved.   We do good things for breast cancer awareness during this month. 

October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Unfortunately it is not celebrated nationally.  We don’t pay tribute to the survivors or commemorate those who have lost their lives, regardless of who they are.  We don’t get involved or donate to organizations that assist victims and their families.  We don’t speak out to bring awareness.  Some of us don’t even call 911 when we witness an abusive situation on the street.  We tell ourselves things like “It’s not my business.  I don’t know what she did.  She could leave if she wanted to”.  We make excuses for not speaking out and we develop arguments against the victims.  We forget that at anytime, we could be “her”.  We forget that we’ve all had those minor encounters that could have at any second, turned major and put us in her shoes. 

I have been “her”.  About ten years ago I was “her”.  I was in an abusive marriage with a man who was both controlling and cowardly.  At his hands, I had been choked to the point of petechial hemorrhage, had received a cracked rib, black eyes and numerous bruises.  I had also suffered emotional abuse and infidelity that led to a miscarriage.  After three years and too much patience on my part, I ended the marriage and never looked back.  All my dreams of what a marriage should be, were completely shattered.  As a result, I developed trust issues, and I built a wall around myself that hindered me from allowing myself to be completely loved.  To this day I have nightmares and fears associated with the trauma I experienced.  I am one of the lucky ones.  I left alive.

Domestic Violence affects more people than most of us are aware.  It creates lasting damage to individuals and families beyond what you can ever imagine.  It changes lives; just like breast cancer can do.  I encourage that while we pay tribute to those affected by breast cancer, that we don’t forget those who suffer from domestic violence.  On my charm bracelet, I have my pink ribbon charm accompanied by a purple high heeled shoe charm.  It reminds me to take care of my health, in more than one way this and every October.

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH, 2010
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

In the 16 years since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), we have broken the silence surrounding domestic violence to reach thousands of survivors, prevent countless incidences of abuse, and save untold numbers of lives. While these are critical achievements, domestic violence remains a devastating public health crisis when one in four women will be physically or sexually assaulted by a partner at some point in her lifetime. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognize the tremendous progress made in reducing domestic violence, and we recommit to making everyone’s home a safe place for them.

Read the full proclamation by President Obama by accessing the link here:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/10/01/presidential-proclamation-national-domestic-violence-awareness-month