By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer
Family and friends of Terri Fletcher began to slowly gather in the parking lot of Ottawa Park located on Kenwood Blvd on the morning of September 24. Some began putting on a basketball jersey that read, “Hoops For Hope,” which was printed above a basketball that was partially inside a basketball net, and Underneath the net the name, “T. Fletcher.”
What made these basketball jerseys different was each one had the number 12, as opposed to having different numbers. Mrs. Fletcher told The Toledo Journal that the one represented the first year of survival after being diagnosed with cancer and the number two represented her being diagnosed twice with the disease. She points to an uncanny fact that her son wore the number 12 when he played basketball, as well as her grandson and several of her nephews.
“I was first diagnosed in 2020 with the disease,” she said. After going through numerous radiation and chemotherapy treatments, she was cured of the disease, but it returned in 2022 and her treatments started again; as of September 2023, she’s cancer free.
“I don’t mind talking about cancer and what I went through. In fact, every chance I get, I’ll talk about it; some people don’t want to talk about it, but I don’t mind sharing my experience,” she said.
After her glory years as a Macomber Whitney basketball standout, Mrs. Fletcher always walked to stay in shape and ate healthy, but she said she still got breast cancer. “Anyone with breasts should get a mammogram, especially if you’re an African American woman because it’s hitting us harder and at a younger age.”
Mrs. Fletcher said she’s more conscious of her eating habits and makes sure she incorporates exercise into her regular routine. “And get tested on a regular basis; that can’t be emphasized enough,” she said.