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At the Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC, in August of 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush hosted a very special gathering of African First Spouses and leaders from the NGO and business communities to talk about advances in health for African women.

In Zambia, PCI, with funding from PEPFAR, partners with Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon to screen women for HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer. At the summit, a video highlighted a very special mother of six named Evelyn. Evelyn was 34 years old, and during her screening, she was diagnosed with stage 2B cervical cancer.

Evelyn was to begin treatment in late August, but tragically, she lost her battle with cancer just days before.

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]Evelyn is one of the 60,000 African women who die from cervical cancer every year, and it is now the number one cause of cancer-related deaths among women on the continent.[/mk_blockquote][/vc_column][/vc_row]

But there is hope. Evelyn was one of the brave women who stepped forward for screening and treatment, and the numbers of women doing so increase every year as PCI works with partners like Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon to provide access to health care in some of the most remote and impoverished places in the world.

Evelyn’s death is a call to action for all of us to double our efforts and ensure that mothers like her can live to see their children grow, thrive and reach their highest potential.