Ohio just opened its first Black-owned breast cancer center!

According to a press release provided to AfroTech, The Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Center opened its doors in an emotional grand opening ceremony on May 1, 2021.

After the tragic loss of his mother to breast cancer, Lavar Jacobs told WKYC that this has been a dream since his mother passed away in 2009 at the age of 49.

“I’ve always had the vision of the Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource Center,” said Jacobs, according to WKYC. “She didn’t get to do everything she had planned. She deserves more of a legacy.”

The Akron, Ohio native’s vision for the center also made history as it’s the first-ever Black-owned breast cancer center in the state of Ohio.

As he’s also the founder of a nonprofit organization Not Just October — founded in 2014 — Jacobs emphasizes while wearing pink in October brings awareness to breast cancer and is a nice gesture, people are affected by the disease year-round.

Courtesy of Lavar Jacobs

Lavar witnessed his mother struggle with doing even basic activities first-hand and because of this, The Kim Jacobs Cancer Resource Center does more than just provide medical resources.

“It’s a place where women who are battling breast cancer can come get wigs, massages, therapy, help with their finances, help with insurance, the kids have a room where they can hang out while she’s receiving services,” he told WKYC. “Then outdoors, we do lawn care, snow removal, home cleaning, carpet cleaning … pretty much anything a woman would need that’s battling breast cancer.”

At the entrance of the center, the urn with Lavar’s mother’s ashes is on display alongside photos of women who have lost their battle with the disease.

For Jacobs, this is how he honors the women who lost their lives to breast cancer, while also keeping his mother close.

“She was my best friend,” he said. “If you knew me while my mom was still living, you knew how close me and my mom were. I know she’s looking down right now like, ‘That’s my baby. Look what my son’s doing. There he is.'”

The Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource Center officially opened for business on May 3, 2021.