Sonequa Martin-Green knows cancer all too well. It runs rampant through her family; her mother battled cancer three times, and her sister survived breast cancer. Now she’s an advocate on the forefront for women’s health issues.

What is one piece of advice that you can give to those who are supporting family members with cancer?

Give them your time, energy and empathy. Their time and energy will be affected from the battle, so you can stand in the gap for them. And the deepest empathy you can muster will help assure them that they are not alone. 

What is the most admirable quality your mother had displayed in her battle?

My mother's ability to press through during her battle was tremendously inspiring. She kept working and kept caring for me and my sister all while battling her cancer, fighting the good fight of faith and maintaining an attitude of gratitude. She showed me what a warrior really is and became a symbol of strength and victory for me.

What can be done to raise awareness and support ongoing research for women’s cancer?

I believe that unity through educational communication is the key. If we talk to each other, share our knowledge and share our research and experiences, then we will come to a collective understanding of what's at stake and what we can do to fight together. 

TIME, ENERGY AND EMPATHY: The most important thing you can give an ailing family memeber, according to Martin-Green, is your time and compassion. Don't leave them to fight these battles on their own.

How has your involvement with charitable organizations impacted your life?

Getting involved with charitable organizations like Stand Up To Cancer has definitely expanded my worldview. It's shown me how invaluable it is to actively engage with others. Love is action, and faith without works is dead. We cannot hope for a better future without jumping in and helping to make it happen.

How can women be their own their own health advocates to improve their lives and the lives of their families?

Women can do their due diligence and research healthy living practices then teach them to their families. Things like eating clean, drinking your body weight in ounces of water daily and exercising go a really long way. Women can commit themselves to the learning and application of a healthy regimen to help ensure that they and their families will be fortified, healthy and happy.