Philadelphia couple opens country's first black-owned nonprofit cancer center

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia couple has opened the country's first-ever Black-owned cancer center.

The nonprofit offers a safe-haven for those battling the disease and their loved ones, completely free of charge.

Anyone who has been touched by cancer in some way knows the devastating toll it can take on a family.

Marjani and Al Harris know that pain all too well. Both have had loved ones die from the disease.

"I saw there was a gap in support," said Al Harris, Co-Founder Cancer Who? Care Center

Co-founder Marjani Harris said she knows how much the little things matter, along with the support and being there.

The couple saw firsthand that there needed to be more support for both the patients and caretakers.

In February, the Harrises opened the Cancer Who? Cares Center.

Al has since quit his job to do it full time.

The couple has helped hundreds of patients by sitting with them during chemotherapy and radiation, advocating for them and lending caretakers a hand. All while they raise three young children.

"A lot of times we put ourselves on the back burner because that's what it takes," said Marjani Harris.

The couple says cancer is tough and getting chemo is not an easy undertaking.

" If there's someone that can sit there with you through your four-hour process to try to make it feel like you're only there for an hour. I think that's some good work," said Al Harris.

Dominique Mundy has battled cancer twice. She says the sense of community here at the Port Richmond center has lifted her spirits.

"It's cool to have your friends and family say I'm praying for you but when you have 15 strangers saying I'm praying for you it's kind of like 'Oh yeah, I'm doing this for them, I'm doing it for everybody!" you feel like a champion," said Domenique Mundy.

Mundy says she credits the Harrises for helping her take on cancer. This month she celebrates her "cancervisary," marking one year since she went into remission.

"He pushes people to do more than they think they can do," she said.
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