Cancer. It’s a scary word, but many aren’t sure what it means exactly, so it let me break it down: Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth. These diseases cause tumors and have the potential to invade or spread to other parts of your body causing things to get quite problematic if not caught at an early stage and terminated with chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. When most think of cancer, they automatically assume a death sentence, but that’s not always the case.
Meet Quiana Parks, a cancer survivor. You’ve seen her behind the DJ booth at your favorite party spinning that jam you haven’t heard in a long time, but she also thinks of you when she decides to let the “good part” of the song play out before effortlessly transitioning. In the past, the New York resident also dabbled in fashion and the present, she plays her role in the visual art scene and as a philanthropist. As a 12-year survivor of Lymphoma, she seeks to spread awareness about blood cancer, her journey and giving the youth the knowledge they need to keep on their toes. “Blood cancer particularly effects young people in their 20s and I was 19 when I was diagnosed. I was fortunate enough to have caught it in the first stage, but a lot of people in their 20s don’t know what blood cancer is, let alone know what the symptoms are or how to test for it. I want to help change that,” says Parks.
And change starts with DJ For A Cure. DJ For A Cure is an awareness project that bridges her love with music with building a discussion around blood cancers. In the past, her efforts have raised money and donated to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Delete Blood Cancer | DKMS and Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation. Her fundraising events range anywhere from panels to merchandise, to donation parties and more. Although we are in an age of doing things for the ‘gram, Quiana strives to go past that and really get the youth involved in the shit people don’t talk about. “I do agree that we live in an era where everything is “cool” for social, however for me and for DJ For A Cure, I knew we had to stand on a solid foundation if our voice was really going to make a difference,” says Parks. This means showcasing the real cause which include the highs and lows of the continuous fight for cancer. “What I do comes from the heart and DJ for a Cure supporters get that. It’s a fight I’ve been through. You can’t make that up. They see and relate to why me and my team are so passionate about what we do,” says Parks.
If you’re really down to support and learn more about blood cancer, its symptoms and how to get tested for it, meet Quiana and friends at SOBs this Thursday for onsite bone marrow testing, a panel, and of course a handful of your favorite DJs by RSVPing here.