April Love is a successful public relations maven and brand strategist who is the founder and CEO of Ask April Love PR Firm. In 2010, Love was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, and the news changed her life drastically. She had an epiphany that her life should be celebrated instead of in denial and grief, and now celebrates five years as a breast cancer survivor. She takes interest in public service, wellness, and health education as she raises awareness. This year Love will hold the 6th Annual Pink in December to celebrate people affected by breast cancer.
Sheen Magazine got the chance to speak with Love about how to stay healthy, celebrate life, and how she began a career in public relations.
You run a very successful business, how did you start Ask April Love PR firm?
I was working for different record labels about seven to eight years ago. It seemed like the music changed, and I wanted to do something different. I became a consultant doing work in Los Angeles and London, and that’s when I started as a love consultant. I realized that development was missing in television and music. That inspired me to start a business to help find those missing pieces that changed music and television.
As women do you believe we hold back on taking entrepreneurial initiative due to fear of not being successful?
African-American entrepreneurs are the most successful when starting their own business. I believe that women get discouraged on the job due to security, and by listening to others saying they can’t do it. Nine out of 10 women are talked out of starting their own business by the people who are around them. They have “fear” that those people might be right.
What advice do you have for young women who want to be in the PR business?
Get self-emerged in what you want! It is important to volunteer, intern, and have a mentor. Getting a mentor could help you find new opportunities and teach you how to excel in your field.
What encouraged you to start the Pink in December event?
One thing that I always say is pink should always be around! You need to be in tune with your body, because so many people get caught up in life and travel and do not pay attention to their body. Many people are not conscience of the amount of sleep they get or the amount of water they drink. The color pink is vibrant, and if you’re happy illness can’t get to you. It is awareness and celebration to love who you are. December is my second birthday, because that’s when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
When you found out you were diagnosed with breast cancer what motivated you to stay strong?
Honestly, I was not strong at first. I had a lot planned for the year of 2010, and I had a mammogram on black friday. I got a call when I was in Barnes and Noble on black friday, and they said I should come in to get a mammogram, which I did not take seriously. I wasn’t going to go, but then I went and sat in the lobby for hours. Finally, when I was about to leave the lady in the office called me and said that I should come back. I got the news on Christmas Eve, and the doctors were saying they needed to do a second mammogram to do a biopsy. I was in denial and grieving when they told me.
I didn’t really have support, because of course family and friends could be their for you but they don’t know what it is really like. I went through a patient navigator and found a group where I could be around people I could relate to. In April, I had an epiphany during chemo that I wanted to have a party before my surgery. I sent out an invite to everyone to come to the party; my hair was falling out, I was three shades darker, and felt terrible. I made the decision that cancer was not going to be me, and enjoyed my night. I was like the Kevin Hart in chemo always laughing and making jokes with everyone, and I even went in there with my laptop to do work. Prayer also brought me a long way.
What advice can you give women about properly taking care of themselves to raise awareness about breast cancer?
Eat right for your blood type, and what makes you feel good. You can look anything up on Google, so just look up what foods are good for your blood type. Also, if you realize you feel sick after eating certain foods, stay away from them. Get up and exercise, give up sugar and processed foods. You should only get 20-25 grams of sugar in one day. It is important to make sure you stay happy; watch comedy, meditate, surround yourself around positive people, and do what you love.
What steps can readers take to prevent or decrease their chances of being diagnosed with cancer?
Eat greens! Make your body healthier with more alkaline foods, because acidic foods can build tumors in your body. Behaviors are genetic, so it is important to be wiser and educate yourself.
The 6th Annual Pink In December will take place December 20, 2015 at the Cynthia Bailey Agency. This event celebrates the life, survival, and strength of those who are impacted by breast cancer. There will be special guest performances, signature cocktails, and selected gifts courtesy of sponsors for the ceremony. Be sure to place your reservation for Pink In December by visiting pinkindecember2015.eventbrite.com.