‘Black Girls Rock’ Awardee Fought Against Violence, Now Fights For Life

ameena matthews**UPDATE as of August 2015**:
“I kept my diagnosis on the down low because I didn’t want anyone to focus on me instead of what the issues really are. If I’m off the front line, someone needs to step up on the front line and advocate for our people and our young guys in and out of the schools. I found out I had 30 days to live. I was going to an oncologist and this doctor appeared in his office out of nowhere and said he was doing a new study at the Cancer Center in Oakbrook and needed some candidates. I went to see him and he did a whole work up and discovered I had multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. He also saw that it had become aggressive. I went through a long process. I had chemo, some blood marrow work, and had to produce stem cells. At one point, they connected a 3 prong piece that looked like a cable wire to my heart. I used to joke and say if you need free cable, I’ll come and hook you up. It was hard to for me to look in the mirror… Where am I now? I’m in a much better place. My boots are strapped and I am ready to go.”

Now, despite the cancer diagnosis, despite her chemo treatments, Ameena is still out in the streets advocating for Black lives and putting an end to violence in the Black community.

“I’m pretty much where I have always been. Still in the streets making sure our young people are educated about how our history has set up our present. There are a lot of things that have happened in our city and nation that are unacceptable. I’m not trying to go after the perpetrators and hunt them down and let them know they have done wrong. I want to educate our young people on how their actions will get them hunted down.