AMHERST, N.Y. -- She endured eight rounds of chemotherapy, 45 rounds of radiation and a lumpectomy. All the while, Mercedes Holloway kept her mind on one thing: helping others.
As soon as Holloway defeated breast cancer in 2012 after almost a year of fighting, she made it her life goal to raise breast cancer awareness. In 2012, she started For Our Daughters - an organization dedicated to educating young women about their bodies and the importance of physical checkups. Friday night, the group held its second-annual fundraiser.
"Our mission is enriching the lives of women and educating our young ladies," Holloway said. "So, I have two young children, that's where it came from. And I never wanted my children to have to go through what I went through due to lack of knowledge. So it's about educating ourselves as women, and we can in turn pass that on to our children."
Friday night's four-hour event, which was held at Classics V Banquet and Conference Center in Amherst, was aimed to bring attention to the pervasiveness of breast cancer. Holloway, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28, had no family history of cancer and encouraged women of all ages to get mammograms, biopsies and talk to their doctors.
The benefit, called the Pink and Black Ball, included a silent auction, live cake auctions, raffles and dinner. A portion of the proceeds will go to For Our Daughters so Holloway can "continue to give back," she said. Proceeds will also go to Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo and Roswell Park.