Today we’d like to introduce you to Patience Elkins.
Hi Patience, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Hello, my name is Patience Elkins and I am a breast cancer survivor. I was born in Sacramento California and because my father was in the United States Air Force, I’ve had the opportunity to live in several places around the world. At the age of nine, we settled in Denver, Colorado. I grew up in North East Denver in The Montbello Neighborhood, graduating from Montbello high school. I hold a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington. After graduating college, I returned to Denver and worked as a mental health therapist for the Mental Health Corporation of Denver. Currently, I am a flight attendant with United Airlines, being based here in Denver for the past 30 years. Cancer did not run in my family until it did. In late 2017 my mother was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and six months later in 2018 I was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. Due to early detection, which was a routine mammogram, our treatment was very different. My mother endured a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation while I had a lumpectomy and many weeks of radiation. All of a sudden I had experienced cancer from many different views. As a daughter of a women with breast cancer, as a mother with breast cancer who has a daughter, and as a breast cancer survivor. What an eye-opening experience that was.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My road has encompassed many twists and turns. I believe in the saying by Herman Melville, that it’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation, so I’ve learned a lot through trial and error. In many ways it just all came together because when you’re on purpose that’s what happens.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
My journey with cancer taught me many things. Most notably one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among African-American women and Black women are 40% more likely than white women to die from breast cancer. Through my experience and newfound knowledge about cancer, I was inspired to establish a nonprofit organization called Pure Patience Cancer Foundation. Our mission is to empower marginalized communities to navigate through and beyond Cancer by offering resources that meet the unique needs of the BIPOC population. One of those avenues is to reduce barriers to breast cancer screening that many women faces, by bringing mammography vehicles to those very communities. We strive to uplift and provide cancer education along the way. We are most proud of providing a Covid testing/ Flu shot site in the Montbello community in 2020, as well as providing Thanksgiving baskets to families in 3 three different States who were experiencing the devastating effects of Cancer during COVID.
Who else deserves credit in your story?
Our working board is comprised of Petra Duvall, Michelle R. Clark, Gordon E. Duvall, Shep Page, and Michelle Duvall. Prior to founding Pure Patience Cancer Foundation I’ve had the pleasure of working with each one of these individuals. Every has different knowledge, perspective, and points of view. I knew we created a team destined to succeed. I’ve had the support of many people in my life. Family, friends, and co-workers, too many to name a few. They have helped in a variety of ways, including volunteering, donating, and offering much-needed advice. To those people, I cannot thank you enough.
- Email: Purepatience01@gmail.com
- Website: Purepatience.org
- Instagram: Pure.Patience
- Facebook: Pure Patience Cancer Foundation