One message: "Learn your family's history"

Posted at 7:59 PM, Dec 12, 2017

Mercedes Wilson is spreading a life-saving message and hope.

Wilson was diagnosed, six years ago, at the age of 28 with stage two breast cancer. At the time she was a single mom of two children.

"When my doctors started asking questions, I couldn't answer them about my family's history," Wilson said. 

Wilson says it was an embarrassing moment, but it taught her two things.

"Number one I didn't know know my family history. Number two that I had one daughter. Her name is Gabriella and I was doing the same thing to Gaby that was done to me, which was not talk about family history."

That's why Wilson founded For Our Daughters. It's a program aimed at educating young women about their health, history, and to be proactive when speaking up if something isn't right about their body. 

"How would you bring this up? How would you talk about that if this road black were there? How would you get through it?" she said.

For Our Daughters goes into high schools in Medina, Lockport, Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Lewiston. in 2012, the first year, the organization reached 700 young women and last year that number more than doubled. 

Wilson was featured on a Upfront, a special edition for breast cancer survivors. About ten cancer survivors came together to share their stories.

Wilson is now 35. She is a wife and a mother to a 15-year-old, an 11-year-old and three year-old twins. She is an active within her community. 

She says it's not all roses.

"The biggest misconception is people think that after breast cancer... how's your life? Now, that's a process in itself because you might heal physically, but mentally you're getting used to the new you," she said. 

Wilson says it's all about adjusting, balancing and team work.