Remembering Suzzanne Douglas
- Beloved actress and NAACP Image Award winner Suzzanne Douglas has passed away at 64-years-old due to complications from an unknown cancer.
- According to Douglas in the past, she had battled two separate cancers during her life. As a result of her cancer journeys, Douglas became an advocate for cancer prevention and health awareness.
- Many cancer survivors have told SurvivorNet that their cancer journey inspired them to speak up on prevention, treatment, and mental health.
Douglas, best known for her roles of Jerri Peterson in the WB sitcom The Parent ‘Hood and Angela in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, passed away at her home on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, July 6 due to cancer complications. The news came from her husband Dr. Roy Jonathan Cob, a neuro-radiologist. While the cancer Douglas passed from hasn’t been disclosed, the actress publicly shared a post on Facebook in January encouraging everyone to be vigilant about their health and speak up if something seems wrong. According to Douglas, she dealt with two separate cancers over the years.Read More
“Don’t let poor health interrupt your purpose. God’s mission and plan for our lives takes our being committed to our mind, body and soul,” Douglas wrote on Facebook. “Come and hear how two life threatening cancers changed my life, and the persons practices and wellness techniques used in my journey towards being made whole.”
In addition to publicly raising awareness, Douglas has also attended a number of events to speak about her cancer and health journey. In May 2018, she served as the keynote speaker for Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center’s Cancer Survivor’s Day to speak about her cancer journey in order to advocate awareness and encourage others to be vigilant about their own health.
If You Feel Something, Say Something
One of the best ways to prioritize your health is to speak up if you feel like something is wrong. Spotting symptoms of certain types of cancers, and attending regularly cancer screenings, can make the difference between catching a diagnosis earlier or later. Additionally, advocating for yourself if you feel like doctors are brushing off possible cancer symptoms can be a life-saving decision.
While a health problem doesn’t always immediately mean cancer, it’s still critical to talk to your physician if something is out of the norm. If your doctor brushes your concern aside, it may also be worth pushing for more tests or screenings just to ensure peace of mind. “It’s important for you to actually educate yourself and be your own health care advocate,” Dr. Zuri Murrell, Director of the Cedars-Sinai Colorectal Cancer Center, told SurvivorNet in a previous interview. “You should lead each doctor’s appointment with a plan.”
Cancer Survivors Turned Advocates
Like Douglas, many cancer survivors have turned their life-changing battle with the disease into an opportunity to become advocates for prevention, treatment, and mental health. This was the case for Amanda Kouri, who was diagnosed with lung cancer at only 23-years-old.
Being so young, and not a smoker, Amanda decided it was important to raise awareness about lung cancer in order to educate everyone that it’s not simply just a “smoker’s disease.” In fact, Amanda’s asthma almost caused doctor’s to dismiss her cancer symptoms and simply blame her breathing condition. “People thought it was a smoker’s disease, and the way that I’m combating it is [that] I’m speaking out,” Amanda previously told SurvivorNet. “I’m a lung cancer survivor.”
She pointed out that lung cancer is the deadliest cancer with the lowest amount of funded research, and the stigma surrounding the disease could be to blame for that. That’s why Amanda advocates for lung cancer awareness.