ORANGE, NJ — When it comes to the local fight against cancer, the search to find a cure and caring for cancer survivors, the AAngelsNJ, a nonprofit cancer awareness, education and support organization founded by cancer survivor Angelina Sims, a member of the Orange High School Class of 1985, is helping Orange.
“I’m from Orange, New Jersey, and I was diagnosed in 2007 with Stage 3 breast cancer and I realized that a lot of women in my family and my community did not have the awareness that’s necessary to have an early stage diagnosis, to avoid death and invasive treatments,” Sims said Saturday, Oct. 13, while she was operating the AangelsNJ stand in Monte Irvin Orange Park, during the Brantley Brothers moving company’s annual Pink Out of the Oranges Cancer Walk. Sims was with her daughter, Melanie, and friend and volunteer Robin Lewis, a member of the OHS Class of 1973. “I am in remission. I celebrated 10 years this year, Sept. 1. We provide communities with breast health, cancer education, support services and resources, financial and emotional.”
Sims is the wife of former Orange police Director Hakim Sims, and on Sunday, Dec. 16, the two will be hosting a fundraiser from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Southern Comfort Cafe, 501 Central Ave., in the Valley section of Orange.
“It’s our annual Tackle Breast Cancer Football Sunday event and we are combining it this year with our Christmas and holiday season toy drive,” said Angelina Sims on Monday, Dec. 3. “There’s no better time of the year than the Christmas holiday to continue our mission. AAngelsNJ supports entire families from outreach through survivorship. So, as we ‘Tackle Breast Cancer,’ we will also bring some joy to the children of cancer patients and children that are hospitalized during this holiday season.”
Hakim Sims said giving back to the community, helping people in need and public service run in their family. He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity and attended the Orange Fire Department’s annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner, helping the firefighters serve dinner to the Orange community. He said just because he’s retired doesn’t mean he’s finished serving Orange.
“I’m not done. I’m not done serving the people. That’s why I’m here,” said Hakim Sims on Thanksgiving, while handing out food and serving meals. “I’m here for that, serving the people. You can’t serve your Lord unless you serve your people.”
Hakim Sims said that ethos runs in his family and it’s embodied by his wife and the AAngelsNJ she founded. He also said her “big heart” is one of the main reasons he married her.
“When I was out here helping people, I was being paid to do it, but I did it because I liked it,” said Hakim Sims. “But the drive to help people has not stopped. It continues. So I’m here in retirement. My brother, Kenneth Douglas, said he needed people, (so) I’m here. Orange pride and Orange spirit doesn’t go away. I bleed orange, but there’s some purple and gold there too.”
Angelina said, as a former cheerleader, she bleeds orange and black, the colors of the OHS Tornadoes sports teams, too. But she said everyone in the Sims family are also all NY Giants football fans, so they would all be rooting for “Big Blue” on Thursday, Dec. 13, at the annual Tackle Breast Cancer Football Sunday fundraiser at the Southern Comfort Cafe.
“We are all Giants fans and we will be rooting for the Giants, as they play Tennessee,” said Angelina on Monday, Dec. 3. “We will also be rooting for the Colts to win over the Cowboys. AAngelsNJ is sponsoring three families for Christmas. We are giving a total of $1,000 to help three families.
For more information about AAngelsNJ, call 888-589-8035, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.aangelsnj.org.