Lavar Jacobs was shattered by his mother’s death. His mother, who doubled as his best friend, died from breast cancer in 2009. After her death, he knew there was so much more that needed to be done for breast cancer patients to ease their burden while receiving medical treatments.
That gave birth to the Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Center, which started operations on May 3 after an emotional opening on May 1.
To Jacobs, this is the least he could do to honor his mother who passed away at age 49. Located in Akron, Ohio, the center is now the first Black-owned breast cancer center in the state.
“I’ve always had the vision of the Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource center,” Jacobs said to WKYC. “She didn’t get to do everything she had planned. She deserves more of a legacy.”
He has put up pictures of the women who have died from breast cancer at the entrance of the center as well as an urn with his mother’s ashes. Jacobs had a great relationship with his mother, which most people close to the pair can attest to.
“She was my best friend,” he remembered. “If you knew me while my mom was still living, you knew how close me, and my mom were. I know she’s looking down right now like, ‘That’s my baby. Look what my son’s doing. There he is.’”
The newly opened breast cancer resource center offers more than medical resources. Jacobs realized how it was cumbersome for his mother to do some basic chores after her diagnosis, so he incorporated services that anyone battling with breast cancer may need.
“It’s a place where women who are battling breast cancer can come get wigs, massages, therapy, help with their finances, help with insurance, the kids have a room where they can hang out while she’s receiving services,” he told WKYC. “Then outdoors, we do lawn care, snow removal, home cleaning, carpet cleaning … pretty much anything a woman would need that’s battling breast cancer.”
This is not Jacob’s first attempt to help women with breast cancer. He founded a non-profit organization, Not Just October, in 2014. He believes that although it is great that October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness, there are people affected by the disease all year round.
His non-profit has positioned itself to be on the front lines of the war against breast cancer. Per his non-profit’s site, “his vision is to change the way that our communities think and talk about breast cancer and continue to stress the importance of regular health screenings.“