Survival Instinct The Network cancer prevention organization seeks volunteers

The late Jahi Simmons and Sylvia Williams Simmons, founders of Survival Instinct the Network, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Sylvia Williams Simmons

A local cancer support and prevention organization is ramping up activities and seeking new volunteers.

The community cancer prevention organization Survival Instinct The Network is seeking volunteers to help with a range of activities it is known for, including support groups for people with cancer, escorting people to screenings and to attend awareness events, said the group’s co-founder Sylvia Williams-Simmons.

Williams-Simmons and her late husband Jahi Williams-Simmons founded the non-profit organization about a decade ago after she was diagnosed with cancer, she said.

She is seeking to ramp up activities in the organization after the passing of her husband, who helped her run it.

“Now that my partner is here with me spiritually and not physically, I am left to do this ministry, and I know it is going to happen,” she said, adding that she is producing a biography about her late husband that is currently showing on Bronxnet.

She said she hopes that the momentum surrounding the four-part documentary about Jahi Williams-Simmons will attract new volunteers as she works to grow the organization moving forward.

She needs people with helping hands who care about community-based, cancer prevention, she indicated. She said there is a volunteer position for everyone.

The volunteers the organization is seeking are locally based, and while the Survival Instinct The Network is a preventative organization, they need not have a medical background, said Williams-Simmons.

The organization was forged on her and her husband’s experience dealing with cancer, she said.

“My passion and purpose is helping people,” said Williams-Simmons, adding “There is a need and hopefully we can fill that need. We need some help, and I am reaching out for volunteers because a lot of folks have moved on.”

She is looking for people willing to staff tables at health fairs, learn about the non-profit organization and share its stories, and especially men who are willing to host support groups.

Reaching out to men is especially important, she said, because there are forms of cancer specific to them and a dearth of men willing to speak to other men about it.

“There are men and women who are health conscious and pro-health,” said Williams-Simmons. “We need them to be part of us.”

Jahi and Sylvia knew each other for decades before they were married in 2005, about a month after her diagnosis.

In addition to the documentary currently airing on Bronxnet, the organization is behind a program on the network called Cancer Health Awareness Television or C.H.A.T. TV.

The organization has also sponsored cancer health awareness days, known as CHAD, at three to four month intervals.

The goal of CHAD, Williams-Simmons said, is to pause and recognize that there are forms of cancer and prevalent diseases in our community.

For more information call (917) 554-4288.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
(l-r) Sylvia Williams Simmons, Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene and Jahi Simmons.
Photo courtesy of Sylvia Williams Simmons

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