Sisters Ejected From Mall Over Cancer Hats
A trio of sisters ejected from a mall in Pennsylvania are mourning the recent death of their mother from cancer — but the three chose a forcefully worded yet common anti-cancer sentiment that offended mall security.
The sisters ejected from the mall in King of Prussia are Makia Underwood, 32, Zakia Clark, 29, and Tasha Clark, 27. The girls’ mother, Jackie Underwood, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 — and Jackie sadly passed away with her daughters by her side on May 14.
Makia, Zakia and Tasha explain their mother’s death was not an easy one, and the sisters ejected from the mall in suburban Philly expressed some of their anger with the anti-cancer slogan — “f*** cancer.”
While the four-letter word is perhaps the most heavily sanctioned of all profanities, the phrase is given somewhat of a pass on social media forums due to the prevalence of cancer and the sheer number of people who lost someone too soon due to the horrors of the illness.
Jackie Underwood was young, too young, when she died at 51 of the disease, and the sisters ejected from the mall have worn hats and t-shirts bearing the slogan since as a way of coping with their mom’s untimely passing.
Zakia explains why the “f*** cancer” shirts and hats are cathartic for the sisters:
“That’s how we feel. It took our mom away. It’s a demon. It’s the devil … There are no other words you can use to explain how you feel. You want cancer to get cancer and die.”
The sisters were ejected from the mall Sunday, as they shopped for a dress for Zakia’s daughter, 9, to wear to Jackie’s funeral. After two and a half hours of shopping, the group stopped for food in the food court, and security approached, demanding the hat be removed inside the mall.
“He said, ‘Since you don’t want to take your hat off, you can leave my mall.’ … He stood there while we ate and threatened to call the cops.”
Seven guards cornered the women, and Zakia says”
“I was very embarrassed … My daughter was so scared she was crying.”
Police were summoned, and an officer ejected the sisters from the mall:
“The officer said, ‘I find it offensive that you even have that hat that says ‘F— CANCER.’ … He said, ‘It’s their mall, they want you out, you have to get out.’ ”
“I just wanted to tell them the whole story. I wanted to tell them a monster came into our house, got into my mother and we had to watch that until the day it took her, so don’t tell me it’s offensive to say, ‘F— CANCER.’ ”
Makia describes the trauma of watching their mother slowly slip away, saying:
“It was gruesome to watch … When I watch monster movies, that’s the image I have of cancer – the zombie movie or the movie when Will Smith was the only person left alive. That’s what the clinics look like.”
Tiffany Wade is a friend to the sisters ejected from the mall in King of Prussia, and Wade created the “f*** cancer” garments to raise money for the cause.
“When you watch your mother turn from a super-strong woman to a woman who can’t walk, can’t talk, can’t breathe, you get so frustrated … You really feel like, ‘F— CANCER.’ That’s how you feel in your heart … I felt so bad they had to be the family to get thrown out. What’s the odds that the one I started it for gets thrown out of the mall?”
After the story got out, Simon Property Group spokesman Les Morris apologized for the women’s treatment, later adding:
“Certainly this could have been handled in a much more empathic and sensitive manner. We’re very sorry about her loss and wanted to apologize for the way her party was treated.”
Do you think the sisters ejected from the mall were wrong to wear the “f*** cancer” hats and shirts in a family-friendly environment, or is it appropriate considering their grief?