I founded Live4Gen in 2013 after my former teammate and friend lost her battle to breast cancer at age 26, only 3 weeks after she was diagnosed. In immediate efforts to raise funds toward medical bills and funeral arrangements, while honoring Gen’s legacy at our high school alma mater, we hosted the inaugural Live4Gen Alumni Basketball Game in June of 2013, one month after she passed. The game raised over $3,000 and hasn’t lost momentum since.
The mission of Live4Gen is to provide breast cancer resources and education to young women under the age of 30. I am now 28 years old, and have sadly had four childhood friends diagnosed with cancer all under the age of 30. While women are not required to get a mammogram until the age of 40, the four cancer cases in my community were not caught until the later stages, leaving my friends with less of an opportunity to cure the cancer. I will never forget during halftime of the 2015 Live4Gen Charity Basketball Game, Gen’s father Paul spoke to the audience and said, “Young women, you must learn how to check for breast cancer yourself regularly. Do it in the shower. But do it regularly.” That was the moment I knew what our target needed to be, because he was speaking to me too.
As much as Live4Gen is a breast cancer foundation, it is also a way of life. Anyone who knew Genevieve was taken by her boundless enthusiasm for life. She lived every single day as if it were her last. She wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle, she went out and bought one. She wanted to surf, she bought a surfboard. She wanted to skydive, she was the next one in line to jump out of the plane. People like Genevieve are rare, but she left her mark.
Genevieve was not just my point guard, she was my friend and sister. The way she lived inspired me every day. If I can share the impact she had on me, and countless others, with the world, I know the world will change for the better. I encourage everyone to live the way Gen lived.
Live4Gen is simply serving as a platform to ensure her footprints are never forgotten.
Founder, Jerica Williams