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The Rainbow PUSH Coalition Embraces Eugene Bailey and Promotes Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 24, 2009

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, welcomed Eugene Bailey to this week’s live international broadcast of Saturday Morning Forum. Bailey, 17, was falsely arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder surrounding the beating death of fellow student Derrion Albert.

“We are so glad to welcome this young man home,” Rev. Jackson stated. He went on to explain, “When school let out, Eugene was headed south to his grandmother’s where he was supposed to be. His friend Derrion was headed north. Eugene was not involved in the melee because he was at his grandmother’s house.”

Rev. Jackson went on to explain that authorities contacted Bailey’s mother on the whereabouts of her son because they wanted to speak with him regarding the incident. After he agreed to cooperate with police, he was arrested and held for 72-hours without being allowed to speak to his parents or a lawyer. He ultimately spent the next 10 days in jail.

“I appreciate everyone keeping me in their prayers,” said Bailey. “I am blessed and glad to be home.”

Bailey will not be returning to Fenger High School, the school he attended prior to the death of Albert, but is working with PUSH for Excellence to get admitted to a new school.

Later in the broadcast, Rev. Jackson introduced an expert panel to help raise awareness about breast cancer. Joining the broadcast were: Dr. Damon Arnold, director, Illinois Department of Public Health; Dorothy Warren, Your Shoes Peer Counselor and breast cancer survivor; Ken Bedford, founder of Anaia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Program; Howard Hewett, singer and songwriter; Dr. Arlette Brown, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Blue Island, Illinois; and Verlena Mooney Newell, breast cancer survivor.

,Studies indicate that white women have a higher incidence of breast cancer than African American women beginning at age 45. However, African American women have a higher rate before age 45 and are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age.

“Sisters, don’t be afraid to get your mammograms,” said Bedford. “Early detection leads to early correction.”

Bedford’s foundation is starting a new initiative that is calling on men to donate money to the organization that will fund a breast exam for women who need it. The exam usually costs approximately $200.

A lack of health insurance is associated with lower survival among breast cancer patients. Moreover, breast cancer patients from lower-income areas have lower 5-year relative survival rates than those from higher income areas at every stage of diagnosis.

Warren, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1996, shared her personal story and offered words of encouragement.

When I found out I had breast cancer, I was horrified,” she stated. “I had one of my breasts removed, but let me tell you, I also went through breast reconstruction surgery. There is life after breast cancer.”

This week’s broadcast was dedicated to CLTV television host Garrard McClendon.

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization devoted to protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. To learn more, please visit http://www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366. To arrange an interview with Rev. Jackson, please call the numbers listed above. -30-

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