Marie Ketly Seide and her mother Marie Louise Cenatus were diagnosed with cancer just months apart in 2005. Seide had breast cancer, and has been cancer free since 2007. But Cenatus had stage four bone marrow cancer and died less than a year after her diagnosis at 67.
Cenatus’ wish was for her daughter to help her friends. And to Seide that meant Boynton Beach, and the Haitian community.
Since her mother’s death, Seide started the Marie Louise Cancer Foundation, and for the first time this year is hosting the Haitians United Against Breast Cancer Walk and Health Fair with free screenings on Saturday at Intracoastal Park in Boynton Beach.
“Women in my community have been diagnosed with breast cancer in late stages due to lack of education and access to health care,” she said. “So we are going to walk to bring breast cancer awareness to the community.”
This event is just one of at least three geared toward breast cancer awareness in the Boynton Beach area this weekend. Friday morning, students and teachers at Hidden Oaks Elementary on South Military Trail will be participating in “Think Pink Day.” They’ll wear pink, have fundraisers, and some will cut their hair and donate it to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program to be used to make wigs for people with cancer.
The weekend rounds off with a Sunday event at The Palms Hair Salon and Spa to benefit Susan G. Komen South Florida. The salon will be discounting services from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will donate all proceeds to the foundation.
Seide said her mother thought she was healthy until one day she complained of pain and a trip to the emergency room ended with the stage-four cancer diagnosis. The Boca Raton resident opened the Boynton-based foundation in 2006, and said since then more Haitian women are getting mammograms, and more women are cooperating with doctors when they are diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Hidden Oaks school community lost two faculty members to breast cancer. The school has been hosting awareness events for about six years, but this is the first year they will have four students and six adults donating their hair to make wigs through the Pantene foundation, teacher Dawn Balliet said.
Any proceeds made at the event will go to the Think Pink Kids.
Balliet said the cause is close to the school’s teachers and students because of the two faculty members, and also because of a parent in the community who is battling breast cancer.
“It’s touched us in many ways at this school,” she said. “That’s our big reason for keeping it alive.”
If you go:
- Saturday’s walk and fair: Intracoastal Park at 2240 N. Federal Highway. Walk starts at 9 a.m. Total event time is 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday’s hair event: 12361 Hagen Ranch Road. 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 561-737-6700. To RSVP, visit The Palms Hair Salon and Spa on Facebook.