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FunTimes Magazine

Frank Talk with WDAS Frankie Darcell

FRANK TALK WITH WADS FRANKIE DARCELL Breast Cancer Survivor and Radio Activist

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every year, the disease claims about 458,000 lives. It is the most common cancer worldwide and early detection is a major part of controlling it. Here at FunTimes, we seek to shed light on breast cancer awareness and breast cancer survivors by honoring radio host, activist and breast cancer survivor Frankie Darcell. Born in New York to a loving mother and father, Frankie Darcell is the fourth of six children.
A graduate of Morgan State University, she grew up in Virginia Beach and began her university career in physical therapy but discovered a passion for broadcast communications when she entered a communications class.
During college, she worked with Kweisi Mfume with his show "Two way talk" at Morgan State University, which she used to make a head start in her career. Darcell says proudly about her love of radio, “it's been thirty three years and I've never looked back.'” She went on to work at WRAP, a historic, legendary radio station in Norfolk, Virginia.
Then, she voyaged to Charlotte, North Carolina, where she met and married her husband. She then moved to Detroit, Michigan and stayed there for 27 years.
In 2013, Ms. Darcell, started at WDAS radio and relocated to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. She had been receiving offers to come to Philly for a while because it is the fifth largest market in the country at the time.
Frankie is a proud family woman. Her daughter is in medical school. Her late mom was a breast cancer advocate and survivor who beat the hereditary disease after two years. In 1998, Darcell launched a program called the “Sister Shred,” in part because she lost a friend to breast cancer.
At the time you couldn't even say the word “breast” on air, because it was against FCC regulations. To this day, she continues to fight relentlessly for improved health care for Black women and to increase prevention awareness.
Darcell overcame the traumatic experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer and going through treatment without taking a day off from work. This pushed her to become even more of an advocate than before, by ignoring the stigma connected to cancer and helping people deal with the tough times during treatment. She says God led her to inspire, comfort and help women heal.
She campaigns for women to have access to better medical care and research that will save lives. The advice she gives to women is to get a mammogram every year in order to ensure early detection.
“Don't let fear win”, she emphasizes. Darcell also advises women to triple check their insurance in order to be clear as to what it covers.
Darcell got into politics in Detroit. She interviewed Barack Obama three times, when he was a senator and when he was the president. She also interviewed Bill Clinton and George Bush. And, she stresses that African Americans must vote. Speaking on power and privilege, she reminds us, for instance that in Philly, 25% of the population is living in poverty. This percentage consists of mostly children and seniors who are starving.
She encourages the Black community to hold their leaders accountable who should walk their talk.
Future plans include Darcell taking her talents to the classroom as a teacher. Regarding her legacy, she says, “When it’s done and it’s over I want people to say Frankie did her thing. I want to leave it all here. I don’t want to take any of it with me”