Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Sing to Live Community Chorus spreads message cancer can be overcome

October 18, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The Sing to Live Community Chorus is not a religious organization, but they are spreading the good news -- the news that breast cancer can be overcome.

Melinda Pollack-Harris is an eight-year survivor. She has always enjoyed singing and started the choir as a creative outlet for those who have been touched by the disease.

"We have about 20 percent that are breast cancer survivors, around 65 percent that have immediate family members and … then the rest have friends and colleagues who've been affected," said Pollack-Harris.

The choir's conductor, Dr. Wilbert Watkins, has a twin sister who is a breast cancer survivor.

"It's nice to have the month of October for breast cancer awareness, but it's even more important, I think, for us to realize that it is a journey that individuals live with from day to day so we need to be there to support one another," said Dr. Watkins.

The choir's pianist says her mother is a 21-year survivor.

"It puts me in a new category. You go to the doctor and they say you know tell me about your family history and there it is, a direct line," said Joan Hutchinson, accompanist, Sing to Live Community Chorus.

All say the choir provides not just healing music, but a family of support for those who need it most.

"Just by having that thread of cancer, primarily breast cancer, there is that level of compassion that people bring to the table," said Pollack-Harris.

The Sing to Live Community Chorus will be performing two shows this weekend. They'll be in Oak Park on Saturday and in Glenview on Sunday. Breast cancer survivors get free admission. For details, visit

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