Assyrian Woman at the Forefront of Community Activism

awalk-group-2009.jpgRepresenting herself was the Chicago Assyrian woman at the fourth consecutive breast cancer walk, Assyrians Walk for Hope ~ To Cure Breast Cancer.

Nothing could take away from the smiling faces and enthusiasm that ran across the camaraderie of the women, and a few men, all from different age groups, joined by a single notion, to give life a chance.

What started seven years ago as a family tradition in the month of October, “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” by the Talia family became an annual walk in the Chicago Assyrian community in 2006. “I was grief-stricken, yet humbled to bring the walk into my community when my sister Shamiram Talia-Mrza was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of thirty-four,” states Helen Talia.

assyrians-walk-for-hope-1.JPGThis year, to make a difference in cancer research, Assyrians Walk for Hope aimed to raise $2,000 to help fund breast cancer research. All donations are 100% tax deductible.

As in previous years, the aim of this walk has been to build a strong Assyrian female front, build awareness on early detection and treatment options, and to
some day create an outreach health program, leaving no woman behind.

Just recently, the impact of this group, in conjunction with the Assyrian Medical Society, drew Galeta Sheba from Iraq to receive her post-operative breast cancer treatments in Chicago.

awalk-with-ashur-tv.jpgAt the walk, Samira Bekanon, a breast cancer survivor, left many in tears as she declared that she was a breast cancer survivor and spoke about the importance of early detection.

This year’s Assyrians Walk for Hope, a 5 mile walk, joined by thousands from City of Hope took place at “The Gallery at The Glen,” in the Glenview, Illinois, and was filmed by Ashor Khubiar of Ashur TV.

Currently, Assyrians Walk for Hope has 216 facebook members. This year’s walk was sponsored and supported by the Assyrian Medical Society, Dr. Alexander Odisho, Ashur
TV, Talal Graish, Joe Ivanoff, Johnny Youkhana, Assyrian radio programs: Joseph Tamraz of “The Echo of Alliance,” and Robert Youmaran of “Voice of Our Nation,” Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Student Movement (ACSSM) of Chicago, of Skokie Public Library,,,,, Assyrians in Skokie on facebook,,, and family and friends.

Dedicated to the memory of Mona Khamis who walked among the elite of her Chicago Assyrian community.

~ Shamiram Echi, Josephine Jado, Helen Talia, MBA, CPA
Assyrians Walk for Hope
October 2009, Chicago