By Regina D. Blye

On Wednesday, September 15, distinguished guests virtually celebrated the ninth anniversary of the founding of the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund (TDJBCF) and the 69th birthday of the founder. Thanks to CSG Urban Partners’ sponsorship, a safe space was created for guests to learn unfiltered facts about COVID-19, surviving breast cancer, and more. CSG Urban Partners also contributed an initial donation to the TDJBCF Transportation and Utilities Fund, which will enable breast cancer survivors to focus on healing rather than financial barriers to care.

Speakers included Dr. Jehan (Gigi) El-Bayoumi, Founding Director of the Rodham Institute, Dr. Bryan O. Buckley, Research Fellow at the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety, and Dr. Vanessa B. Sheppard from the Department of Health Behavior and Policy at the Massey Cancer Center, at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Dr. Sheppard presented a study she led, with support from TDJBCF, titled “Sisters Informing Sisters.” Her work is the first peer-led decision support intervention for Black/African American women diagnosed with breast cancer, which improves patients’ communication with providers and treatment decision outcomes. 

The evening also included tributes by TDJBCF Ambassadors, community stakeholders, family and friends. Benjamin C. Sands, Jr. performed an original composition entitled “Thelma” and local artist and former Southwest resident Cecily Bumbray sang her original composition “Acceptance.” 

If you missed being a part of this spectacular celebration, please visit Planning for the platinum tenth anniversary and 70th birthday celebration is underway. For sponsorship and partnership opportunities, please email If you would like to stay informed, follow TDJBCF on social media or visit

Regina Blye is a TDJBCF Ambassador and a vlogger and creator of the forthcoming “Hanging out with Regina.” 

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