On August 20th, 2013, Memphian Gloria Deloach succumbed to her battle with cancer, which started in her breast and traveled to her lungs and bones. It happened three days after her 59th birthday.
Gloria’s youngest daughter, Margaret, felt a sense of confusion and hopelessness after her mom's passing. She was the main person Margaret could rely on for compassion, constructive criticism, and advice.
Nearly a year after losing her mom, Margaret has launched the campaign, “We Are Warriors; We Made It,” in her honor as well as others who’ve battled with or are currently fighting cancer. And as part of the campaign, she’s released some special T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Warrior: We Made It” across the front.
“I didn’t want to be an artist putting out a shirt to make money. I wanted to have a bigger cause behind it,” she said. “I want to use everything I can to give back or to show other families that you can make it through whatever fight that you’re going through.”
The slogan is derived from the song "Warrior" that Margaret, also known by her Christian hip-hop moniker “Butta MD,” created during her mom’s battle with cancer. It's the last song Gloria witnessed Margaret perform before she passed.
The “Warrior” t-shirts are available in either white with purple lettering or black with red lettering. Margaret said a portion of the proceeds raised will be donated to The Cancer Foundation. The shirts can be purchased here.
Margaret's campaign ends Wednesday, March 26th, but she’s also releasing her EP Da NU Norm; We Made It, which will be composed of songs that got her through the unimaginable hardship of witnessing her mom fight and succumb to cancer.
“These are songs I was writing, sitting while my mom was getting treatment,” she said. “These are songs I was writing waking up in the middle of the morning, 1 or 2 a.m., hearing my mom. These are the times I would just write. I really couldn’t talk to people, because they didn’t really understand.”
Each year globally, about 14 million people learn they have cancer and eight million people die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2007, while Margaret was a sophomore at the University of Memphis, her mom began her battle with cancer. Over the years subsequent to her diagnosis, she experienced hair loss and her health began to slowly diminish. Fueled by the desire to care for her mother, Margaret’s motivation to attend school lessened.
“I really wanted to drop out of college, but my mom pushed me to finish,” she reminisced. “I ended up graduating with honors. I had a 4.0 and I owed it all to her. She was there at my graduation.”
The Jones Clinic, the only independent oncology clinic in the region, was an establishment Gloria received assistance from. She attended its monthly cancer support groups. And Margaret traveled along with her faithfully.
Betty Dozier, a nurse at the Clinic, worked closely with Gloria and still remembers her last days there.
“She would come to the treatment room and ask other patients how they were doing,” Dozier said. “The word warrior really describes her, because she fought to the very end.”
With both the campaign and EP, Margaret said she hopes to encourage other families who have or are going through the same thing that she and her family did.
“I just want them to get hope, be encouraged, be inspired,” she said. "As an artist, as a person, being graced and blessed with a voice, I just want to continue to give that hope to people through music, songs, and writing. I believe that’s why I’m here for. I just want to continue to keep going for my mom and for those coming after me."
Da NU Norm;We Made It is slated to drop digitally in mid-May, but there will be a release party in June. To stay updated on the EP's release, visit ButtaMD.com