By Eddie Lopez
Two Fridays ago, students and faculty gathered in pink to show our support for breast cancer awareness and for criminal justice teacher, Dr. Lee on her road to recovery.
On Sept. 13, Dr. Lee received a phone call that would change her life from the Women's Diagnostic Center stating that she had breast cancer. It was confirmed by doctors from Baptist and the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Institute. She has stage 2 breast cancer and has two masses with it spreading to her lymph nodes. She is receiving treatment from the UM Sylvester Cancer Institute.
Dr. Lee wants to make it known that the diagnosis and healing journey is not about her.
“It is about the others who survived or didn’t before me and for those who will survive after me! Too many of us suffer in silence or shame," Dr. Lee said.
She says, “It’s a scary diagnosis, you think of death. You are so sad, you may even feel lonely, you feel betrayed by your body, you are scanned, tested, prodded, etc.”
But one thing that has kept Dr. Lee strong is her faith.
“For me, daily, primarily, every second of the day I stand on God's words," she said. “ It’s not about me it's about giving glory to God’s plan! He is the ultimate healer and HE has all the glory.”
We all know Dr. Lee as a Marist educator and leader but this is her story.
She was born on Oct. 5th, 1975 in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Jamaican parents and is a first-generation American. She is the oldest of seven siblings- five girls and two boys.
She moved to Miami at age three and attended Kenwood Elementary, as well as Glades junior high and graduated from Killian High. She played soccer and ran track in high school
Dr. Lee received her Bachelor of political science from UAB, her MBA from Nova, her BA from Miles College, her Juris Doctorate from John Marshall Law School and her doctorate in criminal justice from National Central.
Her first job was as a hostess in Fuddruckers in the Sunniland area. She then interned at the Birmingham City Council and was later hired in the Rockdale County public defender's office in Conyers, Georgia.
Her pride and joy are her two children, Trynyty and Shiloh who both graduated from Columbus and are both currently attending Stetson University and part of the school's football team.
Dr. Lee was hired at Columbus in August 2019 and currently teaches Criminal and Civil Law, dual enrollment Criminal Justice and U.S. history.
Since her arrival to Columbus, she has left an imprint on the school in many ways inside and outside of the classroom. She started the law program in 2020, mock trial in 2021, Police Explorers in 2022, also the Law Honor Society in 2023, and plans to introduce a moot court team in 2024.
Her last chemotherapy session is in February. For the time being, we continue to pray for Dr. Lee and all those suffering and survivors of breast cancer.
Family photos provided by Dr. Lee