Thelma D. Jones, 2022 Lori L. Wilson MD Conquering Cancer Awardee. Courtesy of the Author.

By Southwester Staff

On October 13, SW Civic Leader and Breast Cancer Champion Thelma D. Jones, Founder, Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund (TDJBCF), was selected as winner of the 2022 Dr. Lori L. Wilson Conquering Cancer Award. The award was presented by Carla D. Williams, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine & Public Health, and Interim Director, Howard University Cancer Center (HUCC). This prestigious award recognizes an individual who has dedicated her life in the spirit of Dr. Lori L. Wilson to the mission of conquering cancer. Dr. Wilson was a Two-Time Breast Cancer Survivor, Surgical Oncologist and Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Diversity at Howard University, the first woman full Professor of Surgery in the history of Howard University, a national spokesperson for various causes, a mentor, and a teacher.  

In presenting the award, Dr. Williams said: “The Cancer Center has established several awards that we have given in recognition of wonderful advocates; people who are doing important and impactful work.” Dr. Williams read the following message on behalf of Dr. Wilson, who was watching with delight on zoom with her family: “I’m so happy and honored Ms. Jones is being recognized for her efforts in fighting breast cancer through advocacy and raising awareness. I only wish I could be present to share with her in this moment, but my own battle with cancer has currently made me unavailable. I personally would like to thank her for her efforts and friendship and want to encourage her and others to continue the fight. Thank You and God Bless You!” Sadly, Dr. Wilson transitioned the next morning, Friday, October 14, leaving a beautiful legacy.

Ms. Jones has embraced that legacy, and she has vowed to work with Dr. Williams and the HUCC staff in perpetuating Dr. Wilson’s legacy. “I am committed to sharing my story and special relationship with Dr. Wilson more broadly, especially in the historically less-served communities where Dr. Wilson focused a lot of her efforts, both here in our region and in Africa,” said Ms. Jones.

Prior to the award’s presentation, Jones served as a panelist for the Second Annual event, For Our Sisters:  A Conversation About Breast Cancer. Moderated by Dr. Williams. Other panelists included Dr. Jacquelyn B. Dunmore-Griffin, Radiation Oncologist, Howard University Hospital; Dr. Sara Horton, Medical Oncology Specialist, Howard University Hospital; and Breast Cancer Survivor Barbara Rogers. The robust discussion included topics on myths and misunderstandings, male breast cancer, disparities, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

In honor of Dr. Wilson’s passing, the TDJBCF dedicated its Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month Celebration on Wednesday, October 19, to a celebration of her life and work. Special guests included Mayor Muriel Bowser; SW’s own Jan Adams, TDJBCF Honorary Board Member and Founder and CEO, JMA Solutions; Ronnette R. Meyers, President and CEO, JLAN Solutions; Andrea Roane, journalist and cancer advocate, and others. Dr. Williams stepped in to serve as the guest speaker on behalf of Dr. Wilson. To see the program and learn more about the beautiful life and legacy of Dr. Lori L. Wilson, please visit or  

As we move toward the season of thankfulness, interested readers can join the TDJBCF on Zoom or via the TDJBCF Facebook Live on Wednesday, November 16, at 6:30 pm for the Annual Thanksgiving support group meeting featuring a panel discussion on breast cancer survivors with physical disabilities. Confirmed speakers include Vovanti Johnsons, MD, Rusk Rehabilitation Hospital (Columbia, MO); Breast Cancer Survivor Sheri Denkensohn-Trott, TDJBCF Ambassador and Co-Founder, Happy on Wheels; and SW Resident Linda C. Brown, Breast Cancer Survivor, Disabilities Advocate, and TDJBCF Ambassador. The meeting will be emceed by SW’s own Regina Blye, TDJBCF Ambassador and Chief Program & Policy Officer, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Greetings will be delivered by Kim Beer, Director, Public Policy, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and SW’s own Bob Williams, Disability Rights Activist has also been invited to participate. The meeting will be sponsored by Mallory & Associates for the second consecutive year under the leadership of SW’s own Mamie Mallory, TDJBCF Board of Directors and Disability Advocate.

For information about the life and legacy of Dr. Lori L. Wilson or the November meeting on breast cancer survivors with disabilities, email

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