Linden cancer survivor makes it her mission to educate African-American women about breast cancer

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — In the back of a Linden hair salon is where owner Darlene Matthews works her magic, but it’s out in the community where she preaches the importance of learning about breast cancer. 

“African-American women are dying the fastest and we’re diagnosed the least,” said Matthews, a breast cancer survivor.

Many may recognize Matthews strutting through downtown Columbus during the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer race day with hundreds of ladies wearing pink wigs behind her, but her story started back in 2001. 

“I found a lump and did the mammogram and the ultrasound and they said that it was fine,” said Matthews.

Matthew insisted on having the cyst removed and a biopsy, even though a mammogram and ultrasound showed no cancer.

It was at a follow up appointment, when a nurse handed her a bag with a pink ribbon, when she received the stage two cancer diagnosis. 

“You have to deal with this the best you know how and live life every day,” said Matthews.

The ‘pink lady’ admits she was a closet survivor, wanting nothing to do with the Race for the Cure. She even hated the color pink. But it was her daughter Terina that told she needed to be an inspiration. 

“It’s amazing to see her walking in her testimony 16 years later,” said Terina.

Matthews is a voice for the voiceless — like her best friend Gail Jeter, who passed away from breast cancer a few weeks ago. 

“We always looked positive like she was going to beat it. It’s just a fight and you have to fight it out. She just lost the battle,” said Matthews.

Matthews’ race team “Team Beauty All Over” has raised $76,000 since 2010. All proceeds go to the Komen Foundation. If you would like to donate in the team’s honor, visit

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