PECaD would like to congratulate our BCaP community partner Valeda Keys on receiving the Woman of Achievement Award in Health Advocacy. She will receive the award in a ceremony on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at the Ritz Carlton along with nine other women. She is being honored for her volunteer work as executive director for Valeda’s Hope, a nonprofit organization she started in 2013 to help navigate and support women with breast cancer. A two time breast cancer survivor herself, she slept in a recliner for over two years while undergoing seven different surgeries. She learned that women who have undergone double mastectomy are discharged from the hospital within 24 hours and often have trouble getting comfortable in bed because of surgical drains. This experience inspired her to give recliners away to women who have undergone double mastectomy—they have now delivered recliners in St. Louis, Illinois, Michigan, and Capetown and Durban, South Africa. Valeda’s Hope is donation-based, and each woman gets to keep her recliner. The organization’s other programs include Girlz Fit Night at Nordstrom, Pearls and Pencils for Girlz, Pink and Pearls Luncheon, Comfort Items For HER, and Mobile Mammograms with Siteman Cancer Center/Rock Road Library. She also received the Grace Hill Women’s Business Center 20th Wall of Fame Award on March 27, 2019. Valeda has been involved with PeCad since 2014.