Darla Banks Interview - “Fight the Kore” Breast Cancer Awareness 5K Walk
I interviewed Darla Banks, who is having her 4th Annual Fight the Core 5K walk. Read below for more on her story, brand, and uplifting advice.
1. What inspired you start the 5K walk?
“I am actually a 7-year breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in 2012. During the first five years, I kept having abnormal cells. I ended up with 2 different types of cancers and it was very challenging. It progressively got worse. I ended up having a had a lumpectomy in both breasts. They didn’t think that it had progressed that quickly but saw that it had tot into her lymph nodes. I had to do chemo and radiation. I still have to go back every 3-4 months and I’m still on a cancer drug. But I’m still here and so far, they have not seen any other cancer cells. As a result, I wanted to be able to give back. Because I was middle class, I wasn’t eligible for assistance. The only assistance I could get was through prayer, coworkers, church, old neighbors, food banks… Actually, old patients, I’m a therapist, that I worked with, when they found out I was going through, they would send me letters or cards for encouragement, some sent checks. Sometimes I wanted to send it back because I felt uncomfortable. But my husband wouldn’t allow me, he told me that that I was messing up their blessing. He told me people wouldn’t take their money back and would bring up how much I helped them. I also noticed it wasn’t a whole lot of help here locally. It’s better now, but not seven years ago. Chemo affected my lower extremities and I have neuropathy. I originally couldn’t do the walk. It started out of my home, then a hotel. I did the walk last year, so this year will be second 5K.”
2. What’s the biggest lesson you learned during your journey of battling cancer?
“Although you feel defeated, there are still some good people in the world that are willing to help, support, and give you words of encouragement. There are people out here that still care. “
3. How can people help and support their loved ones who have cancer?
“The best thing is to be a good listener and be willing to be educated on the process and be supportive. Less is better, when you’re going through, people look at you like you’ve already died. Instead of that, words of encouragement or a card in the mail is better than having to rehash what’s going on. Getting words of encouragement, meant the world to me. “
4. What did you learn about yourself during your cancer journey?
“One thing I discovered is that this was a test of faith, no one can help you with the journey when the prognosis looks poor. It makes you come face to face with your higher being. I had to stand on Gods words know that he’s true to that. I told God, you’re going to have to take it from here. As I was getting chemo and praying, God said to me, trust in me, I am your core strength. It was like the burden had lifted up. After that, I didn’t get and my levels remained stable, which was a concern because I worked while I got chemo. The doctors were worried about my resistance and me getting sick. God saw me through, and it helped build my faith in God. Also, amazing support of my family and people I least expect.”
5. What’s the meaning behind the name Kore Therapy Fitness & Wellness?
Kore came from hearing God speaking to me when I was getting chemo. Kore strength fitness & wellness… The mission is to provide resources and assistance to help you improve yourself from the inside out and give back to help with cancer research.
6. What would like to be the future of Kore Therapy Fitness & Wellness in 5 years?
“I would eventually like to have a facility to provide resources for people who fall in middle class sector where we can assess them with food, knowledge, their caregivers, and transportation. All the things that weren’t available to me.”
7. What should people know about planning an event like this to bring awareness?
“To start small, try to build your way up. Even though people have good intentions, things happen in their lives, and you may not be able to get support. Things may not happen the way you want it as far as sponsors and volunteers, but you have to keep branding and education. That’s the key, education, so that people can be aware of what they need to do whether it’s screenings, being a volunteer, where to go, etc. We give to large companies, but sometimes we need to give to our own communities. “
8. What advice do you have for those who are struggling with health and wellness?
“Take the time out to journal and write the things that are of a concern to you, but sometimes it's more rooted and that you have to get to the core of. You have to work from the inside out. What's the causing you to overeat? Why do you start and quit? You always have to reevaluate your situation. Just don’t get up, if this route doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world. We all have a journey, they never said it would be easy. In life, we have potholes and valleys, you chose whether you fall in the pothole. Are you going to go around it? The decision is up to you. But as long as you have the tools to make decisions that benefit you, you’re going to be okay. “
9. Outside of KoreFitWell, what do you want people to know about you as a person?
“I’m a passionate and caring person, but I’m very strong and I don’t give up. Just like I expect from my patients, I try give everybody enough knowledge. I always try to be a good listener, if I can listen well, I can hear their concerns and validate who they are. Through validation, it will allow you to help them reach goals and meet them where they’re at if they need more knowledge about something. Try to be a good listener, then try to figure out what to prioritize first and how I can help that individual. “
To register or become a vendor for this event, click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kore-fitwell-4th-annual-breast-cancer-event-tickets-68097781297