I recently attended The Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund support group meeting and what an event it was! Breast Cancer is still an epidemic in our community, especially in terms of mortality. Learning the symptoms and being aware of changes in your body are the keys to early detection. Did you know that Breast cancer is more likely to be found at an earlier stage among white women than among black women? Overall, breast cancer incidence (rate of new cases) is slightly lower among black women than among white women. However, breast cancer mortality is higher in Black/African-American women. For example, from 2010-2014 (most recent data available), breast cancer mortality was 42 percent higher in black women than in white women. In addition, Black women are more likely than white women to get triple-negative breast cancer, a kind of breast cancer that often is aggressive and comes back after treatment. The work of the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund is to spread awareness about breast cancer and making sure our community knows the importance of being up to date on our health. The Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund's vision is to save lives and embrace and achieve a world community free of breast cancer. The Fund plans to realize this vision with guiding principles of respect, collaboration, quality and patient-centered care, culturally sensitive approaches, and evidence-based strategies.
The organization's founder, Thelma D. Jones, a breast cancer survivor, fueled uncertainties about her diagnosis into making an impact on anyone who crosses her path. As a survivor, Ms. Jones responded to a life's calling and took on the responsibility of using her diagnosis to the greater good of her community and serving them in the best way possible: by educating others about their bodies. To speak about her personality, one of the kindest I have met and we are both Virgos, here to save the world! No wonder I felt an amazing kinship.
A little more about The Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund, "The TDJ Breast Cancer Fund offers programs to address a need in the community and for which there is a demonstrated demand that will complement rather than duplicate the existing work of other organizations. This involves collaborations with other individuals and organizations on a year-round basis. In addition, we offer services that meet vital community needs that will have a broad impact by especially benefitting the historically less-served communities. The overall ultimate goal of our programs and services remain to empower residents to live healthier, take charge of their lives and reduce the burden of breast cancer in our communities for women, men and young girls."
Also, did you know that August is Black Philanthropy Month? That is another topic that was discussed in the meeting. Black Philanthropy Month was created in August 2011 by both Dr. Jackie Copeland-Carson and the Pan-African Women's Philanthropy Network as an annual, global celebration of African-descent giving. The theme for 2017 is: Giving Voice to Fuel Change.
Themes from previous years include:
2016: Elevating A Culture of Giving
2015: A Season of Change
2014: Generosity At Home and Around the Globe
2013: Of Dreams And Mountaintops
Also attending the meeting was Tracey Webb, organizer of Black Philanthropy Month. Ms. Webb is the founder of Black Benefactors, "a giving circle based in Washington, DC that provides grants and in-kind support to Black-led organizations serving the African American community." Mr. Edward Jones, Executive Committee Member of Black Benefactors, was also in attendance and presented acknowledgements.
Finally, we did a moment of silence to honor the late Kecia Nobles, who passed away from Cancer. Her family was in attendance and her presence was absolutely felt in the room.
The Thelma D. Jones Fund is a great organization to get behind. To support the fund contact Thelma Jones, Founder and Board Chair, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.