As today is the last Sunday of the month, I could not let the month go by without mentioning that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I lost two line sisters to this hideous disease so I feel compelled to participate in this advocacy. Unfortunately, I missed walking in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk this year as I and many others who loved Lola Brown, one of those line sisters who passed away, do every year. However, I do want to highlight the work of The Lola Brown Foundation, which was founded by her best friend Jennifer Phillips in her honor. Below is a video in which Lola shares about her passion for breast cancer awareness followed by her bio:
Lola Brown, a native of Denver, Colorado grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. She attended Richland Northeast High School. While in school, she received honors to attend the South Carolina Governor’s School for academics and was named to the South Carolina All-State Band. You could also find Lola on the court scrambling for digs for the volleyball team or shooting hoops with her varsity basketball teammates.
She graduated from Richland Northeast High School with honors and received a music scholarship to attend the University of Georgia. While at UGA, she joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she participated in various community service activities. Lola was talented and musically gifted. She was an accomplished pianist and a faithful Christian. She served as an active member of First Northeast Baptist Church in Columbia, SC for several years where she played the piano and directed choirs.
Lola, began her professional career as a financial specialist in the banking industry, was promoted to portfolio manager, and later branch manager. In 2003, at the age of 28 years old, Lola discovered a lump in her breast as she conducted a breast-self exam. Doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. She was a newlywed to Gilbert Jamal Brown and a new mother to a toddler, Gilbert Jamal Brown II, affectionately known as Gil.
Despite surgeries and years of chemotherapy, Lola continued to fight. She worked throughout her treatment and emphasized the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. During her spare time she worked as an aerobics instructor. She exemplified the true meaning of strength and courage and inspired others to embrace fitness.
Because of Lola’s generous spirit, passion to help find a cure, and desire to promote awareness about breast cancer to young women, she put together a team of family and friends. Through the years those teams raised more than $10,000 for cancer research, for survivors, and for those she called victors. In Oct. 2013, at 38 years old, Lola became one of the victors.
Below are some of the highlights of the foundation’s work to date:
- As a celebration of her legacy, the South Carolina House of Representatives has recognized Lola Brown and the foundation’s efforts and named October 23, 2017, the official Lola Brown Breast Self-Check Day in the state of South Carolina. Since Lola was diagnosed at 28 years old, Lola stressed the importance of early detection and breast self-exams and wanted to educate young women that they too could be diagnosed with breast cancer even under the age of 40. In honor of her push for awareness, The LBF is currently working with South Carolina lawmakers and school districts to educate high school seniors on the importance of breast self-exams. The goal is to have a certified health professional talk to students about breast self-exams and breast cancer. Those students can only participate in the 30 to 45 minute session if they have signed parental/guardian consent forms.
- The LBF Scholarship for high school seniors –
- Pampered Pink – The LBF will identify those in need based on financial, or medical hardship through breast cancer organizations and support groups. Once identified, The LBF will pamper and assist women between the ages of 18 to 40 who are affected by breast cancer by donating a Pampered Pink spa gift certificate.
I usually make my donation to the American Cancer Society on behalf of breast cancer awareness during the month of October, but I missed doing so this year as I was out of town. However, this year, to support The Lola Brown Foundation, I will be making my donation to the foundation and you can too by clicking on this Paypal link! Although October will be over in a few days, the foundation’s work continues throughout the year so please consider The Lola Brown Foundation as you give to charitable organizations.