The Lola Brown Foundation Continues to Make Strides Against Breast Cancer!

Hello World,

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 –

Jennifer Phillips and LBF Scholar….

  • 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.

Any thoughts?





Pastor Who Loses 130 Pounds to Save His Wife’s Life To Appear ‘Steve Harvey’ Tomorrow!

wife pastor steve

Hello World,

Whether it’s the black church or the white church, probably whatever church, we love our potluck dinners! Food and the Bible seem to go together…something about tasting and seeing that the Lord is good :)!

But one pastor was willing to push back from the potluck and lose weight so that his wife could live…When Pastor Hosea Collins  of the City of Refuge Church in Gardena, California found out that his wife needed a kidney, he immediately volunteered one of his own. Because of his weight, he was deemed an ineligible candidate to help save his wife’s life. Collins went from 352 pounds to 222 pounds for a total loss of 130 pounds, solely by watching what he ate, adhering to cleanse regimens and continually exercising. At his new weight of 222 pounds, Collins was recently admitted into a kidney swap program. Whether or not he is a match for his wife, he will still donate a kidney and the program will find her a replacement. He has fully turned his life around and plans to continue his weight loss quest to reclaim his high school weight of 200 pounds. The pastor is now devoted to assisting others, helping them find self-fulfillment, or helping them to unlock a God-given purpose. His belief is that every person can use this purpose to make a difference, and that’s exactly what he did.

Tune in to “Steve Harvey” on June 6, 2016, to hear Pastor Hosea Collins’ story as he appears as a guest, along with his wife, Terrekia Collins. “Steve Harvey” airs weekdays. Check local listings or go to for time and channel.

Below is a video from the show.

Any thoughts?

7 Lessons We Can Learn About Life, Love & Creativity from the Life & Death of Prince…

afro prince

Hello World,

It’s been 21 hours and six days since Prince’s life slipped away from this earthly realm, and I doubt anyone will ever compare to him….I was off from work and running the last few steps of my four-mile run when a deejay broke into a song to say that various news outlets were reporting that Prince had died…I scurried to my car and sped to my house to get on my laptop to confirm if what I heard was true…I was stunned when it was confirmed that this horrible news was true…And ever since then, I’ve been compulsively watching various interviews with him and programs about his life, catching snippets of “Purple Rain” (I can’t seem to catch the whole movie), reading articles written by those who knew him and marveling that my generation’s Beethoven has made his transition…

I don’t profess to be a super fan of Prince although I’m certainly a fan…But still I’m somewhat surprised that his death has dominated my thoughts since I heard the news…I think it’s because his death is the third of three artists who redefined music: Michael, Whitney and now Prince…Their last names aren’t even needed because they reached icon status with their contributions to music and their music has been a mainstay in my life for as long as I can remember…But since this post is about Prince, I won’t delve anymore into Michael and Whitney for now…

I think we can learn from anyone whether emulating that person’s successes or avoiding that person’s mistakes. And in thinking about Prince’s life, there many lessons we can learn…Below are my Top 7…

1. Prince taught us to use all of our talents up and not be afraid of exploring new talents(Creativity)…What I respect the most about Prince’s life is that his creativity knew no bounds. He played various instruments used in and wrote the music and lyrics to many of his songs. He was so prolific that apparently he has a vault filled with music that very few people have heard yet. He explored colors and designs so much so that he is known for his love of purple and the paisley design. Although he had never made nor acted in a movie before and “Purple Rain” didn’t have the support of major studios, he demanded that “Purple Rain” be made according to his former manager Joseph Ruffalo. In a recent interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, he said, “Now, what kind of a guy was Prince? Like, when Prince said that, ‘We were shooting thanksgiving,’ it meant we better start shooting thanksgiving. And that started a process to make a movie outside the studio system. And, in fact, we did it independently.” His development of his talents reminds me of “The Parable of the Talents” in which three people were given talents by their master and were expected to develop them in his absence. When the master came back, two of the three had developed their talents and added more talents to the initial ones they were given, but one was too scared to develop his one talent (and probably mad that others had more than he did) and ended up being punished for wasting his talent. I know I don’t have the talent that Prince had, but I hope I’m never scared to develop and add to what I do have….

2. Prince taught us that we don’t have to broadcast our philanthropy(Life)…So I never knew how much Prince supported various organizations and causes over the course of his life until Don Lemon’s interview with Van Jones, a friend of Prince…. According to Jones, he helped to create organizations such as #YesWeCode, “a national initiative to help 100,000 young women and men from low-opportunity backgrounds find success in the tech sector” and anonymously paid for people in Oakland, California to have solar panels on their home. According to Jones, Prince was prevented from speaking about his philanthropic efforts in public because he was a Jehovah’s Witness, but Prince was so private (outside of his music) I doubt he would have said anything anyway. Prince’s approach was the opposite of the Pharisee in “The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector” who exalted himself because of his good works while God admired the approach of the tax collector who was humble.

3. Prince taught us the components of a truly good love (and sexy) love song(Love)… So in the days since Prince’s death, I’ve been trying to break down what made Prince’s love songs (my favorite of his songs) so doggone everythang…I’m thinking it’s because they were so sensory…you could hear, see, touch, smell, and taste his love songs…Here is an excerpt to “When 2 R In Love”: “Come bathe with me. Let’s drown each other in each others emotions. Bathe with me. Let’s cover each other with perfume and lotion. Bathe with me. Let me touch your body ’til your river’s an ocean. Bathe with me. Let’s kiss with one synonymous notion. That nothing’s forbidden and nothing’s taboo…when the 2 R in love.” The words of Song of Solomon have a similar effect…”Your stature is like a palm tree. And your breasts are like its clusters. ‘I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree, I will take hold of its fruit stalks.’ Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, And the fragrance of your breath like apples. And your mouth like the best wine!’ ‘It goes down smoothly for my beloved. Flowing gently through the lips of those who fall asleep.”

Feast on this song for yourself…

4. Prince taught us to preserve the sexy…While we are talking about sexy…(Life)…Getting older is no excuse to let yourself stop, drop and roll to speak…I know Prince was a man and men do have an easier time of maintaining their weight in my experience, but doggone if that man didn’t maintain his slim hips till the very end! And his hair…chile…was always a top priority…so much so that he kept his do-rag on in the rain when he performed at the Super Bowl…Folks laugh at me because I have locs but I run with a do-rag on…My do will be maintained, okay…Prince demonstrated that Psalm 139:14 is true…”I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works (me and you) are wonderful. I know that full well.”

5. Prince taught us to support other artists…(Creativity)…Prince was The Artist, but he lavishly supported the artistry of others as well…Sheila E., The Bangles, Sinead O’Connor, Morris Day & The Time, Chaka Khan, etc. are just a few of the artists who have been associated with him…And his giving to others enlarged his own legacy like what is demonstrated in Luke 6:38. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

6. Prince taught us that being young is not a reason to not explore your talents…(Creativity)…This lesson is for my younger artists out there…I’ve wanted to be writer since I was six years old, but in those early years, I wondered if I really had anything to offer…I found this post on in which Prince, as a teenager, was interviewed by his high school newspaper and his focus was apparent even back then…The article was titled “Nelson Finds It “Hard To Become Known.” Here is an excerpt: “Prince was born in Minneapolis. When asked, he said, ‘I was born here, unfortunately.’ Why? ‘I think it is very hard for a band to make it in this state, even if they’re good. Mainly because there aren’t any big record companies or studios in this state. I really feel that if we would have lived in Los Angeles or New York or some other big city, we would have gotten over by now.’ Although he had confidence in himself, he did doubt that he would be discovered…But obviously, he persevered and we all know what happened…It even says in the Bible in 1 Timothy 4:12, don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young…

symbol7. Prince taught us not to be afraid to stand up for yourself and know your worth…(Creativity, Life, Love)Prince’s battle against the record industry has been well documented over the years so I won’t rehash it here…I mean he was known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince for years behind trying to get the rights back to his music…And before he died, he secured ownership of his music publishing…His taking on the music industry is the ultimate David and Goliath story…

I’m sure that many other lessons can be gleaned from the life of Prince Rogers Nelson, but these are uppermost in my mind…what have you learned from the life and death of Prince?

Rest in Purple Prince…

Any thoughts?