For the last 2 Madison summer seasons, community leader and artist, Lilada Gee has used her Concerts on the Square table to host one concert with a special group of women—African American breast cancer survivors. The group members come with an array of goodies—fruits, vegetables, cheeses, sandwiches, desserts, sparkling beverages, and wines. Each of the women have made significant contributions to Madison and Dane County and include Lilada Gee as our host, Major General (Ret.) Marcia Anderson, Frances Huntley-Cooper, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Denise McDonald, Constance Miles, and Eva Vivian. Each has battled breast cancer and won and below they share some of the things for which they are grateful. 

“I am grateful for my children Alexandra and Chris who give me the strength to fight to live a joyful life every day.”  

(Lilada Gee) 

“I am grateful for the health and well-being of my family and friends. I am grateful with the grace of God to have endured the challenges that life has presented. I am grateful for current and future opportunities and blessings.” 

(Constance Miles) 

“I am grateful for my health and the opportunity to be part of a vaccine study that may prevent breast cancer.” 

(Eva Vivian) 

“I am grateful for a community of people who are willing and able to provide support and share their experiences and ideas.” 

(Marcia Anderson) 

“I have been in this community for exactly 50 years this Fall 2023.  I came to Madison from North Carolina to attend UW Madison’s Graduate School of Social Work with the intention of leaving upon graduation.  Well, I am grateful for all the love, support, and wonderful people that I’ve met personally, professionally, politically and through community service in Dane County and beyond.  I am grateful for my family who continue to support me, gently push me to focus more on my own self care and health.  I am grateful for being healthy enough to enjoy and watch my beautiful grandchildren as they grow, learn, and explore this world.” 

(Frances Huntley-Cooper) 

“I am grateful for the realization that life is a gift and must be lived day by day. I try to live each day with expectation, faith, and hope. Of course, I am grateful for a loving family and the measure of health we now have.” 

(Gloria Ladson-Billings) 

“[I’m] grateful for good health. Grateful for a wonderful husband and my family and my village. Grateful for viable employment and financial stability. So much to be grateful for. I don’t take anything for granted.” 

(Denise McDonald)