Miles of Hope Brunch Honors Minority Activists

On May 1, at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie, the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation will honor two breast cancer survivors (photos below left to right: Patty Nelson, Nettie Womack) who have taken it upon themselves to educate minority groups on breast cancer prevention and risk reduction.

f640593a-820a-4ef6-8a71-5b8c024bc576Nettie Womack and Patty Nelson, sisters, breast cancer survivors, and activists in their African American community, reach out to this minority population at church and social gatherings organized through their Women of Faith Health and Wellness Ministry.

“A new report from the American Cancer Society finds that breast cancer rates among African American women in the United States are increasing. For decades, African-American women had been getting breast cancer at a slower rate than white women, but that gap is now closing,” explained Miles of Hope Executive Director, Pari Forood.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, after skin cancer. It accounts for nearly 1 in 3 cancers diagnosed in women. By the end of 2015, an estimated 231,840 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and an estimated 40,290 women died from that disease,” Ms. Forood said.NettieWomack

Co-Founder of Miles of Hope Cathy Varunok continued: “Even though black women have historically had lower incidence rates than white women, death rates among black women have been higher. In fact, the black-white disparity in breast cancer death rates has increased over time; by 2014, death rates were 42% higher in black women than white women.”

Miles of Hope Board of Directors Chairman, Lisa Arnoff, praised the Foundation’s efforts to reach out to the African American community: “It is so important that we spread the knowledge of prevention and risk reduction to this population. Nettie and Patty have taken it upon themselves to organize breakfasts and teas at area churches, and talk personally and compassionately about their treatment and recovery. They are selfless and generous and deserve all the praise we can give them!”

“One of our major priorities at Miles of Hope has always been to initiate and fund programs to educate minority populations on breast cancer prevention. Nettie and Patty have been doing this for a few years and when we connected with them, we immediately offered our organizational and funding support,” added Ms. Forood.

Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation is a non-profit public charity with a mission to fund support services for people affected by breast cancer within the 8 counties of the Hudson Valley. All funds raised regionally are expended on services and support for Hudson Valley residents.