Monday, September 28, 2009


Peggy Earnest is a true survivor. Sixteen years ago she took ownership over her battle with breast cancer and was determined to beat it.

The University’s Dean of Students and Chief Judicial Officer went for a yearly mammogram and a few weeks later returned for a second mammogram that detected cancer. She underwent a mastectomy of her right breast along with several chemotherapy treatments.

With no risk factors or family history of breast cancer, Earnest turned out to be a very rare case. She then decided to participate in a study with Vanderbilt University researchers to find out how she developed the illness.

Many that know Earnest are familiar with her bubbly, charming personality. She demonstrates a lively spirit that even the toils of breast cancer could not break. “I’ve always been very open about my journey with breast cancer. I tried to keep a positive attitude about it. I did not want a pity party and never let others feel sorry for me. I simply did not allow it to keep me from enjoying my life,” she proclaimed. Earnest believes it was God and the support system of her family and many friends that kept her afloat while recovering.

A champion for breast cancer awareness, Earnest currently serves on the board of the American Breast Cancer Society and participates in the Sister’s Program, both initiatives that target women of color. She also helped to develop and establish the Relay for Life Breast Cancer Walk held annually at TSU.

Earnest charges younger women to take the proper steps and go to the doctor regularly. “Know your body, look in the mirror and get to know yourself,” she said.

Tennessee State University joins the mission to end breast cancer and shares stories of campus survivors for the Susan G. Komen On The Go mobile experience. The interactive information center featuring self-exam instructions, awareness tools, games and food will visit TSU (Welton Plaza) on October 1, 2009, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Office of Marketing and Public Affairs at 963-5331.

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