Victorious Vickie…

January 1st, 2023

I AM the Victorious Vickie Long and I am a cancer survivor!

My journey began June 19, 2020, when I felt a knot in front of my right breast. Not knowing what to do and unprepared for what lay ahead due to no health insurance coverage, I did not know what my journey was going to be. In the meantime, the masses were growing, and I had mixed emotions dealing with what was going on. What would my family say, and would I have the support to stay strong and keep moving on. I have always had an unshakable faith in God and knew I would need Him on my side from the very beginning. I waited 4 months before I Googled free mammograms in Galveston County. I found Galveston County Health District D’feet Project – Free Mammograms. I called and set up an appointment for September 24, 2020. I went to UTMB Mobile Unit and received a Free Mammogram.

A few weeks later, I received a letter from UTMB stating that I would need to be seen again because I had an abnormal mammogram. On October 20th, I had an Ultrasound and 3D Mammogram at the same facility. The Ultrasound revealed 2 masses in the front part of my breast and 1 mass in my lymph node. UTMB immediately scheduled a biopsy for all 3 masses. On November 13th, the results showed all 3 were cancerous. I was diagnosed with HER2 Positive Breast Cancer and that the cancer was very aggressive so I took the necessary steps and filed for Medicaid. I was approved to receive Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Insurance (BCCC).

Vickie LongNow it was time for me to face the challenge of telling my family and friends. Not even thinking about myself, I just wanted to be able to be strong knowing the emotion that would follow after delivering the news. Although, I did not want to have a meltdown or get upset about what I had been diagnosed with while telling and sharing this wealth of information with my loved ones, I felt relief and a sense of peace once I did. I was armed with the full armor of God, and with loving, supportive, praying family and friends that believed I would beat it! Now it was time to take action and heal both my mind and body. I went to MD Anderson for my chemotherapy treatments. Many days my body would just be tired after my chemotherapy. It would leave me nauseated, exhausted, and often times my entire body would just be weak. I would not have an appetite and would just want to rest. Being able to rest, gave me comfort knowing that I would feel better later. I can remember when I started losing my hair, it was coming out in clumps and it was fast. Victorious Vickie Long

The hair loss was not so traumatic because I knew this would be one of the obstacles I would be faced with on this journey. I chose to embrace my beautiful, bald head for a long period of time, and then I was gifted with a custom made wig by a friend. I felt the beauty that was still within my body, my mind, and my soul. I remember saying to myself, I was going to focus on all of the positive things and not let any thing come between me and my healing that could possibly cause a major setback. I wanted to make sure I had a positive outcome and attitude because I knew I was going to celebrate really soon. After speaking with my doctor and my family members regarding my mastectomy, I decided that I would only have one breast removed and it was my personal choice as well as my doctor advising me that this was the best choice. I did not need to have a double mastectomy. I had a mastectomy on my right breast and all the cancer was removed even in my lymph node. I give all my praises and healing to the Almighty God I serve Jehovah.

Vickie LongI am so thankful that I’ve had an excellent support group around me during this entire journey as well as my family. I was able to call my family members and several friends, all who had personal experiences and could really help and coach me through this for a better understanding of what the road was going to lead to.

I am excited about helping and sharing my journey with other ladies dealing with their past, present and current cancer situation. As a woman of color, I feel that many minority women do not get the resources, information, and education that needs to be given to them in order to be directed and assisted in getting insurance, treatment, and support for a cancer patient. I would like to encourage women to advocate for themselves, go out and speak to others, and help those who do not know how to get screened, get insurance or find out where to get a mammogram because early detection is the best detection.

2022 Divas For A Cure & Team Money Cycles Check Presentation to MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper – $1,000

December 30th, 2022


We are still making strides in the community despite the pandemic.  Thank you to those who help to contribute to this year donation of $1,000.

2022 Fundraising Partners:
– 3D Futures
– United States Black Calvary Family
– PageTurner Network
– Family, and numerous friends in the motorcycle community

2021 Divas For A Cure & Team Money Cycles Check Presentation to MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper – $2,700

November 29th, 2021

The pandemic has made it difficult for many of us but we are thankful for the supporters behind the scenes and those who help to contribute to this year donation of $2,700.00.

2021 Fundraising Partners:
– Team Money Cycles “TMC”
– 3D Futures
– United States Black Calvary Family
– PageTurner Network
– Family, and numerous friends in the motorcycle community

2020 Team Money Cycles & Divas For A Cure Check Presentation to MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper – $1,500

October 13th, 2020

It has been a difficult year, but despite the pandemic, we still showed up. We presented a check for $1,500 to MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper while also supporting “A Ride 4 Riley”.

2020 Team Money Cycles & Divas For A Cure
“Ride 4 Riley & MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper
– Sponsored by Barb’s Harley-Davidson

Escorted by:
– New Jersey Buffalo Soldiers – Mother Chapter “NJBSMC”
– United States Black Cavalry Family “USBCF”

2020 Fundraising Partners:
– Team Money Cycles “TMC”
– PageTurner Network
– Family, and numerous friends in the motorcycle community

Tell A Friend…

October 1st, 2020
Help us to make a difference in our community and across the country.

In The News…

December 3rd, 2018

We made the Channel 6 News…

2018 DFAC Check Presentation to MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper – $6,000

December 3rd, 2018

Today, we presented a check for $6,000 to MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. Divas For A Cure “DFAC” annual fundraising efforts this year were supported by many people in the community.

2018 Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride:
– Sponsored by Barb’s Harley-Davidson
– Official Ride Coordinator – United States Black Cavalry Family “USBCF”
– Road Guards provided by New Jersey Buffalo Soldiers – Mother Chapter “NJBSMC”

2018 Fundraising Partners:
-Team Money Cycles “TMC”
– Raymour & Flanigan
– PageTurner Network
– Tenth Street Baptist Church Women’s Ministry
– Family, and numerous friends in the motorcycle community

9th Annual Pink Roses Teal Magnolias Brunch

October 29th, 2018

Divas For A Cure is proud to be a Community Partner and we were honored to be a part of this year’s celebration as a Guest Speaker.

Click here to hear my journey…

By attending the brunch, donating to the cause, and purchasing raffle tickets, we helped raise $850,000 for breast and gynecologic cancer research and clinical programs right here in South Jersey.  Your support directly helps women, and their families, during their cancer journey.

Click here to view a few of the many photos from the 9th Annual Pink Roses Teal Magnolias Brunch


Real Divas Ride For A Cure!

November 1st, 2012

By David Smallwood & Jan Emanuel-Costley

Like pioneering Black motorcyclist Bessie Stringfield traveled cross-country delivering classified documents for the Army during World War II, Jan Emanuel-Costley today rides the nation’s roads on her Harley to raise money for breast cancer research.

For three years, Jan, who goes by her road name “Sunny The Diva,” has spearheaded annual motorcycle fundraising treks with fellow lady biking enthusiasts for her non-profit organization, Divas For A Cure “DFAC” (

The three rides have covered over 25,000 miles and raised $123,200 for M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston, Texas.  Harley-Davidson, the leading name in the motorcycle world, was the primary sponsor of the rides.

Stringfield, the first Black woman to ride across America on a motorcycle, was 16 when she learned to ride, as was Emanuel, in Oakland, where she grew up.

At 16, Emanuel was also diagnosed with a small cancerous cyst on her head that was removed, but returned later when she was 18, along with ear and jaw pain, and was removed again.

At 22, Sunny found the lump between her armpit and breast, but the doctor at the hospital she called said not to worry, she was too young to have cancer and wait to have it checked out at her next gynecology appointment.

After three months of pain, the lymph node area got inflamed and tender to the touch and when she called again, she says they said, oh, that’s definitely not cancer because cancer doesn’t hurt, and by the time cancer hurts, you’re almost dead.

“I was at work, but decided to just go to the emergency room anyway,” says Emanuel.  “The doctor said I needed to schedule a mammogram immediately.  The look on his face was tragic.

“After the mammogram he walked in and said you have breast cancer and we need to schedule you for a mastectomy.  His bedside manner left a lot to be desired.  I told him I was only 22, I came in the world with two breasts and I’m going to leave the world with two breasts, and you better figure out how to do it.”

Emanuel joined a study using newly developed laser techniques in conjunction with her hospital. The treatment worked, her breast was saved, and she hasn’t had a problem with it since.

Sunny The DivaBut Sunny, now 51 and married with four adult children, says her positive outcome was a result of early detection and her persistence that something was wrong.

“According to statistics, White women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, while minority women are more likely to die,” Sunny says.  “Black women normally take too long to do follow-up, to get tested, don’t have adequate medical insurance, and we’re not educated.  We’re definitely not pro-active and it’s still a hush-hush kind of disease.”

When Emanuel turned 28, she went into cardiac arrest and had a stroke.  An aunt, Mary Clemons, who was also her godmother and with whom she lived for part of her adolescent life, was her caregiver during this period.

Sunny says, “My aunt came over and took care of me, changed my bandages, helped me use the bathroom, nursed me back to health, cooked, helped me with the kids, made sure I went for my checkups –– the whole nine yards –– but never once did she say she was sick herself.  When she finally told us something was wrong, she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

“The doctors said the cancer she had was 95 percent curable had she caught it early, but it had advanced from her breast to her arm into her neck and into her brain.”

Jan was in the room with her aunt when she died.

“It was such a life-altering experience,” she recalls. “At around the same time, someone dared me to ride my motorcycle across country.  I said, not only will I ride across the country, I’ll get some other women to ride with me to raise money and we’ll donate it to a cancer foundation for research in my aunt’s name.”

A Room at MD Anderson Cancer Research Center dedicated in the name of Divas For A CureEmanuel says she picked the M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston, Texas to receive donations because they are leaders in cancer research (currently ranked number one in the nation) and in treating minorities, especially African American women.  M.D. Anderson graciously agreed to name an exam room in its breast cancer center in honor of Divas For A Cure.

Emanuel in 1999 started her website,, as an online motorcycle forum for women interested in the activity.  That site spawned, which provides information on the annual rides.

Because she rides a Harley, Sunny approached the company to ask for their support, and they obliged. (On her website there’s a section titled “Why A Harley?” followed by a one-sentence answer, “If I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand.”)

“We’re very excited about supporting their ride for the third year and supporting their initiatives to increase awareness and prevention of breast cancer; it’s a tremendous cause for us,” says Harley-Davidson spokesperson Karina Jaramillo. “We facilitate our relationship between the divas and many of our local dealers so they can come out to different dealerships during the course of their ride and do fundraising activities.”

A small group of women are selected to ride in the event each year.  The inaugural ride in 2006 was 8,600 miles from San Francisco to New York and back in 22 days. Eight divas started, and Sunny was the only one who finished, but $25,000 was raised.

“I quickly found out you should limit cross-country riding to just a few divas,” Sunny says.  “Anybody who calls themselves a Diva is going to probably have a personality, so with eight divas, there were some conflicts. Mix hot weather, motorcycles and long distances, and it becomes volatile, especially over 22 days.”

She repeated the event in 2007 to prove that the initial success was not a fluke.  This ride, with five divas, went 7,300 miles from Oakland to Maryland and back, and raised $50,000.

The 2008 ride  was 6,000 miles from New Jersey, down to Atlanta, up to Canada and back, and raised $35,000.  There were only four divas riding this time – Costley, the organization’s vice president AJ Coffee, Cynthia Marcy, and Elaine Thomas.

“It’s a very hard ride,” Sunny explains.  “Most people when they sign up think of a nice little leisurely cross-country tour – make stops, take pictures, shop.  It’s not like that.  After riding all day, all you’re looking for is a shower and pillow at Motel 6, Motel 4, even Motel 2 – you don’t care at that point!” she says.

USBCF, NJBSMC & the Motorcycle Community united in the effort.

The divas ride almost 500 miles a day, between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to avoid nighttime riding hazards, and have to keep to a strict timetable to honor their Harley-Davidson dealership appearances.

They are accompanied by members of the Buffalo Soldiers motorcycle club –– Sunny is married to the former national president of the organization, Thomas Costley –– and they are followed by a support van that carries their clothes, supplies, and food.

“People sign up to ride with us for a leg or two and they pay a registration fee, but after a (short) while, they’re like, ‘this is crazy, this ain’t no fun! All we’re doing is riding and sleeping!’  But I say, ‘And raising money!’  That’s the important thing,” Emanuel says.

It is very taxing on the body and finances to maintain an annual cross-country motorcycle trek, so in 2010 Emanuel and Divas For A Cure took some time off from the annual breast cancer run to recoup and reorganize.

Barb’s Harley-Davidson is a woman-owned dealership in Mt. Ephraim, NJ.  Barb and her staff actively support the community on all fronts. They were diligent in their efforts to help support Divas For A Cure and in 2010 took up the helm to support them on a local level.

In 2010, Barb kicked-off the First Annual Barb’s Harley-Davidson Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride to help continue the efforts.

Sue, KC, Sunny & Cindy

It is with the united efforts of Barb, her staff and the motorcycle community that DFAC can continue to make a difference.

In 2011, Sunny found another lump, so without hesitation she sought medial advice from a Breast Surgeon.  The surgeon determined that a lumpectomy would be necessary. Her advice was simple. Let’s not fool around with this. The surgery was slightly delayed due to a pre-existing heart condition.  The surgeon removed four growths and surrounding tissue.  The pathology report came back – “all margins clear.”

Jan Emanuel-Costley aka Sunny The Diva

The surgery was a success and Emanuel was back on her iron horse in no time.


Big RedAnd yes, it’s 2012 and she is still rolling.   Emanuel averages about 7 – 10,000 miles a year on her iron horse.


So, if a woman on a bright red Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic with pink bling on her helmet passed you on the highway – it was probably “The Diva.”


Early Detection Saves Lives

March 19th, 2012

Cindy & Sunny “Survivors”

1 in every 8women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Caucasian Women are more likely to be diagnosed. African American and Hispanic Women are more likely to die! You can help change those statistics.


Early detection saves lives!

Get the facts…

Public Notice

March 2nd, 2012

Real Divas Ride “RDR” & Divas For A Cure “DFAC”and is protected by copyright law and such copyright is owned by Real Divas Ride “RDR” & Divas For A Cure “DFAC”  unless credited otherwise.  It may not be copied, reproduced, republished, downloaded, posted, distributed, broadcast or transmitted in any way without the copyright owner’s consent.  Prior written consent of the copyright owner must be obtained for any use of material.

Infringement and Unauthorized Use of the Real Divas Ride/Divas For A Cure Logo

Infringement, Fraudulent, Unauthorized Use of the Real Divas Ride/Divas For A Cure Logo by Pinocchio’s Ride For The TaTas affiliated with Moms On The Run

Pinocchio’s Bar & Grill (Reno, NV), Pinocchio’s Bar & Grill (Sparks, NV), Moms on the Run (Reno, NV),  and Ride for the TaTas (Reno, NV) are NOT affiliated with Real Divas Ride “RDR” & Divas For A Cure “DFAC”  in any way.  Nor has RDR and/or DFAC authorized these entities to create and use an altered RDR/DFAC logo.  Monies raised by the above mentioned entities (through and not limited to donations or sale of merchandise with the altered logo) were not authorized by DFAC/RDR nor has DFAC/RDR received any monies from the sale of these items.



Real Divas Ride “RDR” and Divas For A Cure “DFAC” Logos

October 1st, 2005

Divas For A Cure

Do You Have What It Takes To Ride With A Diva?

The Real Divas Ride “RDR” and the Divas For A Cure “DFAC” logo is propriatery property of  Real Divas Ride.  Use of the  Real Divas Ride and the  Divas For A Cure “DFAC”  Name or Logo for fundraising without prior written consent is strictly prohibited.

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