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Natalie Williams Puts a Face on Breast Cancer

10/2/2012, 8:06 p.m.

Born May 30 on Andrews Air Force Base, Williams grew up in Upper Marlboro, Md., and studied vocal music at Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts. She attended Virginia State University, and graduated from Trinity College with a bachelor's in English. She served as senior staff in the Council of the District of Columbia in co-developing programs and assisting in legislation to improve Ward 8 on behalf of Council member Marion Barry. She has also worked with Robert Bobb and the late Ward 8 State Board Representative William Lockridge to improve the quality of public education for District students.

Williams has a theory on why a woman with no family history, who does not smoke or drink, gets breast cancer.

"It is the stress," she pontificates. "I've had my fair share of stress igniters, and working for Marion Barry was no cakewalk."

"I didn't just get breast cancer. I now have a platform." Williams is using this experience in a public relations blitz to bring attention to early detection of breast cancer and treatment to save lives.

Williams says she is expected to stay at the hospital for four days after the surgery, and then she will be "resting" at home.

"But don't be surprised if you see something on breast awareness by the end of the month," she says. Even before her diagnosis, she started a nonprofit called Women Empowered, which is designed to address issues affecting women - legislation, education, jobs, children and more.

"It's so important as there seems to be no connection between our young girls and our elders," she says. "The older generation has embraced me and provided so much wisdom to me. As I sit in the middle, I have the ear of our young, and the voices of our elders. I want to ensure that the knowledge can be passed through me."