Breast cancer survivor to celebrate life before Gas Works fireworks

Jul 4, 2017, 9:22 AM | Updated: 3:15 pm
Bridgette Hempstead.(Photo by Robert Hood, courtesy of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance)...
Bridgette Hempstead.(Photo by Robert Hood, courtesy of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance)
(Photo by Robert Hood, courtesy of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance)

A woman’s Fourth of July tribute celebrates our nation and her victory over breast cancer.

If you’re planning to head to Gas Works park Tuesday night, you’ll not only get to see some amazing fireworks, you’ll also hear a fabulous live performance of the National Anthem from someone who has a special connection with the song.

For Bridgette Hempstead it’s about more than patriotism and our great nation. The National Anthem is a song of victory at a time when so many others were ready for her to give up.

Bridgette beat breast cancer twice. The first time she was diagnosed was on her 35th birthday.

“I had to fight to even get a diagnosis because I was told by my doctors that I didn’t need to have a mammogram,” Bridgette recalls. “They gave me a laundry list of reasons why I shouldn’t have to get a mammogram. The last one was because I was African American and that breast cancer didn’t really affect my community.”

Bridgette didn’t give up. She demanded a test, which came up positive.

While taking care of three young daughters and fighting her own cancer battle, Bridgette started Cierra Sisters, a nonprofit aimed at informing African American women about the disease and supporting them as they entered their own battles.

“Back then, everything that you saw – the Susan G Komen walks and all the other breast cancer awareness events – there were no black women that were there. That was really disturbing to me because I knew that I was not the only one,” said Bridgette.

Cierra Sisters quickly went from occasional meetings at a coffee shop to a partnership with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Doctors from all over started referring patients to Bridgette so they might benefit from her knowledge and experience.

Then, 18 years after her initial diagnosis, she was diagnosed with cancer again.

“And, the doctor I went to, she told me ‘You won’t live a year and you won’t sing again.'”

Bridgette wouldn’t accept that and immediately began treatment. One month later, her health began to improve. Nine months later, the Seattle Seahawks invited her to sing the National Anthem before one of their games.

“It was almost like divine intervention,” Bridgette said.

Not only did she sing, Bridgette beat breast cancer for a second time and watched her daughter receive her degree at Howard University.

Now a grandmother, Bridgette’s fight continues.

Cierra Sisters will host a health fair later this month in South Seattle.

You can catch Bridgette’s live performance Tuesday night at Gasworks Park just before the fireworks.

Local News

Seattle library...
MyNorthwest Staff

Last of Seattle Public Library branch closures from pandemic comes to an end

Seattle has reopened its NewHolly library branch, meaning that for the first time since the start of the pandemic, all 27 of the city's branches are now up and running.
21 hours ago
KIRO 7 News Staff

2 people shot in Seattle; suspect surrenders to police after SWAT negotiation

A suspect surrendered to police Saturday afternoon after two people were shot in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, the Seattle Police Department said.
21 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

New rules for visitors to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle

Starting Tuesday, visitors to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative test within three days of visiting.
21 hours ago
seattle police...
Stephanie Klein

Seattle police patrolling lower West Seattle Bridge after reports of covered plates

Seattle police say they are conducting enforcement at the lower West Seattle Bridge after it was discovered that drivers have been obscured their license plates to avoid traffic cameras.
21 hours ago
Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, unvaccinated officers, seattle police...
Stephanie Klein

Seattle Police Chief asks officers to submit vaccine paperwork

As the Oct. 18 deadline to prove COVID-19 vaccination or risk losing a job looms, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz sent a heartfelt memo to officers letting them know he doesn't want to lose them.
21 hours ago
KIRO Radio Newsdesk

Jail body scanner discovers handgun in folds of woman’s belly

Snohomish County Corrections deputies made an unexpected discovery while booking a 30-year-old woman into jail on Wednesday.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Breast cancer survivor to celebrate life before Gas Works fireworks