ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Valeda Keys is a licensed practical nurse and a two-time breast cancer survivor. Now she is a champion for breast health.
In 2010, at just 37 years old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and found the process of being newly diagnosed to be extremely complicated. Keys took her experience and put it into action for others, creating a non-profit called Valeda’s Hope to meet the logistical, emotional and educational needs of underserved, uninsured and underinsured women in the Greater St. Louis Area.
Valeda’s Hope organizes mobile mammography and educational events in St. Louis. Her vision is to help women navigate the breast cancer process and her mission is to win lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and early detection to provide mammograms for those in need. She also provides recliners for women who need them as she found out during her breast cancer journey, the only way she could be comfortable was in a recliner.
Valeda is the unpaid director, and she leads a team of 14 volunteers who donate their time to spread the word and expand outreach for free breast cancer screenings, treatment and emotional support of breast cancer education, nurturing services, physical therapy, emotional therapy and genetic services to specifically help the underserved, uninsured or underinsured women in need. Each year, the charity organizes the “Pink & Pearls Luncheon” to raise money. She has become a key partner of Susan G Komen Foundation and recently competed her first memoir, aptly named for the mission of her nonprofit, “My Strength is Your Strength”.
Valeda’s energy, her passion and her faith has impacted hundreds of lives in the Greater St. Louis Area.