On Friday October 27th, a special “Stress-Free Zone” was created inside a small classroom at the Will County Health Department. Kendra Coleman, a public health program specialist for the department who is also a breast cancer survivor, decided it was time to do something that takes aim at a major cause of cancer: stress.
Coleman stated that the idea of the Stress-Free Zone applies directly to both her and Brown, because doctors have told them that stress was the main factor in both of their cancers. “It was not genetic, as I’m the only one in my family who has ever had this.
Brown’s mental journey, by her own admission, took a different approach. “I did ask ‘why me?’” she recalled. “It was very detrimental. But I learned that through prayer, anything is possible. I learned the hard way that you need to give it all to God and put Him in charge.”
Coleman very much agreed with that, as both ladies showed a book Coleman gave to Brown during her journey, called the “Pink Prayer Book: Coping, Healing, Surviving, Thriving,”
And while the Stress-Free Zone in the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program classroom at the Health Department on the 27th provided a great relief for Family Health Services Department workers, Coleman emphasized that stress free life should be practiced as much as possible all year long.
“We want our co-workers to take the awareness we have offered here and make it a normal practice. Our Health Department Wellness Committee is already talking about possibly expanding this next year, and perhaps having all division of the Health Department involved.”
Both ladies also have plans for their futures in the fight against cancer. Brown would like to be a breast cancer nurse, perhaps at an area hospital, after retiring from the Health Department. Coleman says she will continue with her involvement with the American Cancer Society, and hopes to add more participants to her Kendra’s Angels team for the annual walk.
More information on American Cancer Society chapters in Illinois can be found at