Get Naked!

It was so nice to hear Richard Roundtree (the man we most know as Shaft, before Samuel Jackson) on Saturday evening, March 22, 2014 during a celebration to conclude a weeklong of events in remembrance of Fred Shuttleworth’s birthday.  This man that everyone knows as the original Shaft shared his story of living with cancer, breast cancer.  Many men have the mindset that breast cancer will never happen to them however, this type of thinking could possibly lead to death.  He found a lump in his breast in 1992 and the lump was found early enough to get the appropriate treatment and removal of lymph nodes. 

As Roundtree told his story he admitted that initially he did not want to share his experience with others until he realized people were dying.  At that point in his life he decided that he had to "Get Naked"; bearing all, letting the public into his life so that others may live, and becoming vulnerable to others opinions.  Roundtree did not allow any of these excuses to stop him from bearing all to the public.  His story is one of courage because most men would not "Get Naked" to show a doctor their breasts that may be riddled with cancer, let alone share the story of how they overcame breast cancer for FEAR of so many things.   As I sat in the audience and listened to his words, it rocked my soul because though I’ve never had cancer there is a disease that lies within me that is killing me slowly, but at the same time killing me faster than the average person.  So, I knew all too well what he meant when he referred to getting naked because I live with sickle cell disease.  I don’t own this horrible disease, nor did I give it permission to live inside me, I was born with this disease.

I decided that the God appointed campaign I’ve been working and leading from the front (and not the rear) required me getting naked to be a voice for the voiceless.  I understand to whom much is given, much is required and because I’ve been called to not just advocate but lead a movement and a group of people who live with the same disease as myself, that I had to “Get Naked”!  Please understand that it is time for many of us who have endured, remained steadfast, and did not give up in the midst of our own storms in life to "Get Naked" so that others may live.  Go stand before a mirror, because at the end of the day you have to live with yourself and keeping your testimony from others who are suffering, at their breaking point, lost due to fear, and ready to give up and throw in the towel, they need to see your layers come off to see for themselves that if someone else can make it through this thing, I can too!  The song says, “I’ve had my good days, and I’ve had my bad days but thank God that my good days, outweigh my bad days”. 

There are so many people in this world struggling with their own demons in so many areas of life.  People, “Get Naked” so that others can begin to believe that there is enough hope, faith and love for even them as they go through some bad places in life.  I dare you, double dog dare you to “Get Naked” so someone out there can glean from your experience and make a decision to fight through the storm.

By Tina Kay,, If you are looking for an inspirational speaker for your next event please email me at  Join me on May 17, 2014 at Ross Bridge for a luncheon for women.