Yvonne Hipps-Cisco survived 6 bouts of breast cancer and thyroid cancer all while being a mother, grandmother, wife, business owner, advocate and educator. She had a selfless drive and was sincere in her desire to help and encourage others.
At the age of 35, Yvonne was diagnosis with terminal breast cancer and given only 3 month to live. While others may choose to continue quietly after being diagnosed and surviving cancer, Yvonne took action and used her experiences to empower others. After her miraculous recovery, she continued with day to day activities even serving as a scout leader for her children who were 5 and 7 years old at the time. Yvonne continued doing community social service work and working charities to bring awareness and resources to her community.
Serving as an advocate and often Spokesperson, these organizations included the American Cancer Society, Equal Hope, Y-Me, Sisters Embracing Life and Immerman Angels to name a few.
For over 30 years, Yvonne put a face to survivorship.
As the President of Cisco And Cisco, a grassroots nonprofit organization, she used her personal testimony to encourage others to take action an control of their health. With the use of events and volunteers, Yvonne was able to bring Cancer awareness and information on available resources to at-risk communities in an innovative way. Yvonne’s organization produced outreach events, provided college scholarships and one-on-one support to cancer patients. Under her leadership, over 5,000 care packages and Smile Totes were delivered to patients in Chicago and medical facilities nationwide. Packages and items were stuffed and distributed to Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Rush Hospital Chicago, Jesse Brown VA Hospital, Ingalls Hospital, River Forest Cancer Center, Joliet Oncology, Evanston Hospital and Loretta Hospital. Their services helped families celebrate their recoveries from the effects of cancers.
Yvonne’s advocacy directly impacted the lives of over a dozen women who she linked to life saving treatment. Serving as their advocate, Yvonne accompanied them to treatment, acquired medical equipment and resources on their behalf. Her Empowerment & Wellness Programs, including a Charity Pageant and Eve’s Girls, a youth program, provided Pink Teas, fitness classes, seminars, trips and theater outings.
Often sharing her story of challenges and success, she spent her time and often times personal resources to let her community know that they are not alone in their battle and time of struggle. She was compassionate and finds joy in helping others improve their lives and often serves as a liaison connecting women and families to available resources. Her very effective public speaking skills helped the American Cancer Society (ACS) raise hundreds of thousands of dollars at survivor recognition dinners, awareness workshops and walk-funds conducted in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. She was interviewed several times for some of those events by ABC-7’s Anchors Roz Varon and Judy Hsu.In October 2006, the ACS West Cook Area Office gave her the Taking Our Message Nation-Wide Award. Yvonne provided persuasive speeches urging the prohibition against smoking to law-makers in Springfield, Chicago and the Village of Oak Park. Her speaking skills blessed her with the assignments of serving, from 1991 through 1993, as the Hostess of Hot Line 21; a cable television production by ChildServ. During 1993 and 1994, she then served as one of the panelists for “Teen Programs” by the WGN-TV Channel 9 Different Drummer Show. A less formal application of her public appearances was her role as an extra in Paramount Pictures’ Hardball, starring Keanu Reeves.
Yvonne’s creativity in educational institutions yielded bicultural instructional programs for day care centers, child development departments, elementary schools and human services organizations. In 1992, she received national recognition from the Child Welfare League of America – Mid-West by their Mid-West Regional Winner of the Outstanding Child Welfare Worker Award. Later, Yvonne was listed in 2,000 Notable American Women [Eighth Edition]. In 2014, the combination of her fluency in Spanish and teaching effectiveness inspired several of her students to attain the Illinois State Library Spotlight on Achievement Award. In 2017, her contributions and commitments were applauded in the Humanitarian Award ceremony by the We Dream in Color Foundation, Inc.
On October 5, 2021, Yvonne transitioned from this life leaving her legacy that will remain forever in the hearts of those she touched. The Cisco family and members of Cisco And Cisco Productions, continue to share her story and passion for the arts and helping others through outreach.
CCP assembles and delivers comfort care bags to cancer patients undergoing treatment. During the holiday season, care bags are hand delivered to over seven Chicagoland area hospitals.
The Health Ambassador Program is open to men, women and children of all ages. The focus of the program is to empower individuals and equip them with the tools they need to spread cancer awareness in their own communities.
CCP host a variety of support groups, health fairs and various empowerment activities. Special events and productions include the annual Charity Pageant and Talent Showcase.