There are many ways Sheryll Mitchell could have honored her mother after she died of breast cancer, and she chose to give back to her community.
“I wanted to do something to remember her that was productive to other women,” she said. “If she were to live, she would have done something to help other women. I wanted to do it for the women of the community.”
Through that desire and God’s work, Your Best Care Day was born.
Mitchell retired from Longview ISD where she served as a speech pathologist. Her mother Joan Burns Brooks served as principal at John Tyler many years ago.
Mitchell went on to found Sheryll Mitchell Ministries, a Gospel group, and through the ministry she hosts the Your Best Care Day event in Longview each year.
The event is a day full of women in the community coming together to support each other in breast cancer awareness and prevention. Christus Good Shepherd brings a mobile mammogram unit to the event to serve women who need mammograms.
But the event is more than mammograms — it’s community. There are all types of vendors and raffles, speakers, panels and a pink carpet to walk down. The spring event also features a panel of survivors sharing their stories.
“It’s just amazing, and I give all of that to God because I know that I’m just the vessel that’s being used for the women,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where you live or what ethnicity you are, it just brings us together as women just to enjoy each other and support each other.”
Through the event, Mitchell has particularly reached the Black community, which she said she felt needed more outreach in terms of breast cancer awareness and education.
In the initial stages of planning the event, Mitchell recalled speaking with leaders at Christus Good Shepherd to ask them how they were informing women from minority backgrounds about services.
“I wanted to have an event that was centralized in the community that even the bus riders could attend. There’s been an awakening,” she said. “We’re glad for the Black women that are here because there is enlightenment and there is a greater awareness that prevention is necessary.”
Creating the event felt like an assignment from God, she said. It was something she could not stop thinking about, and then it all started to fall into place.
Now, Your Best Care Day brings women of all walks of life together on a journey of breast cancer awareness and prevention.
“This is not something that just happens to certain folks, this can happen to anybody,” she said. “We wanted to have a platform of awareness and then prevention. If I give you the information and I provide you with a platform then you can better facilitate your life. We created a day you can have a mammogram with your girlfriend and do it in an environment of love.”