AKRON, Ohio — After tragically losing his mother to breast cancer, an Akron man honored her legacy by opening Ohio's first ever Black-owned breast cancer center in her memory.
At the emotional grand opening ceremony Saturday afternoon, Lavar Jacobs cut the ribbon on what he says has been a dream since his 49-year-old mom passed away in 2009.
"I've always had the vision of the Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource center," Lavar said. "She didn't get to do everything she had planned. She deserves more of a legacy."
Jacobs is the founder of the nonprofit organization Not Just October. He says wearing pink in the month of October is a nice way to bring awareness to breast cancer, but for folks affected by the disease, it's a year-round battle.
Lavar witnessed his mom struggle doing even basic everyday activities, which is why he made sure The Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource Center provides more than just medical resources.
"It's a place where women who are battling breast cancer can come get wigs, massages, therapy, help with their finances, help with insurance, the kids have a room where they can hang out while she's receiving services," he explained. Then outdoors, we do lawn care, snow removal, home cleaning, carpet cleaning ... pretty much anything a woman would need that's battling breast cancer."
Pictures of women who have lost their battle and the urn with Lavar's mother's ashes are displayed in the entrance of the Center. It's a way, says Lavar, to honor the women lost to the disease, and to keep his mom close.
"She was my best friend," he remembered. "If you knew me while my mom was still living, you knew how close me and my mom were. I know she's looking down right now like, 'That's my baby. Look what my son's doing. There he is.'"
The Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource Center officially opens for business on Monday.