By Southwester Staff 

The Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund (TDJBCF) celebrated Women’s History Month on Wednesday, March 15, via Zoom and the TDJBCF Facebook live with a host of outstanding speakers, including opening remarks by TDJBCF Board Member and Ambassador Scarlett S. Small followed by a blessing from TDJBCF Ambassador and Survivor Angela “Angie” O. Walker. Returning a fourth time by popular demand, Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi, Founding Director of the Rodham Institute at the Georgetown School of Medicine discussed screening guidelines, dense breast, triple negative breast cancer, and more. Also, Michelle Ferretti, Research Manager at the Integrative Psychosocial Program at the Inova Life with Cancer and Deriece Harrington, Patient Advocate with the Inova Brain Fog Working Group presented on Brain Fog/Chemobrain and invited the audience to consider participating in their study by visiting  

The meeting also included community updates from Pamela McKinney of Southwest Action, who provided an overview on her organization’s efforts, including acknowledging the support of the TDJBCF, and the importance of creating a Community Land Trust in Southwest DC, and Lisa Baynes, Associate Director, Development, Northeast Region, American Cancer Society (ACS) who talked about ACS programs and the 2023 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk which will be Saturday, October 14, 2023, at the Tidal Basin. To register for the walk, please visit The meeting was emceed by TDJBCF Founder Thelma D. Jones. To see the full details of the meeting, please visit  

Mark your calendar and join us Wednesday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom and the TDJBCF Facebook Live as we celebrate the 13th Anniversary of the founding of the ten-time award winning TDJBCF Support Group. While 13 may be regarded as an unlucky number to some, the TDJBCF views it as a time of change with a positive outlook as we continue to host support group meetings with outstanding speakers who provides a wealth of information and inspires, uplifts, encourages, and gives voices to those who might be suffering in silence. Our guest speaker includes Tesha Coleman, Bureau Chief, Cancer and Chronic Disease Prevention Bureau, Community Health Administration, DC Department of Health. In addition, Carisa Etheridge, 5-Time Breast Cancer Champion will share her powerful story “Strength Beyond Cancer” as she boldly unpacks for the first time before an audience her feelings and emotions associated with each diagnosis. Etheridge, now 46, was first diagnosed at age 32 with Stage I ER+HER2- and was advised that she had a 2% chance of recurrence. She was diagnosed again with breast cancer in October 2012, thyroid cancer in June 2016, uterine cancer in December 2022, and Stage IV  Metastatic ER+HER2- that same month. In addition, her precious daughter, a nursing student at Norfolk State University, was diagnosed with Stage IV Lymphoma during the pandemic. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, Etheridge  was unable to be at her daughter’s bedside. It’s a harrowing yet powerful and heart-warming story that you don’t want to miss. Also, Junius Nottingham, colon cancer survivor and advocate,  will share his journey with Stage 1 colon cancer and his family’s story as a carrier of Lynch Syndrome, a rare genetic type of hereditary cancer which claimed his son’s life. The loss of Nottingham’s son became his motivation and commitment to honoring his son by sharing his family’s story with others. So, join us Wednesday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. as Etheridge and Nottingham take a deep dive into what life is all about living with multiple forms of cancer while being a spouse, gainfully employed, and a loving and caring parent. Rev. Dr. Beryl C. Dennis, a breast cancer survivor, advocate, former caregiver and author with Wesley Theological Seminary will give a blessing. Lavern Chatman, the Vice President Business Development at EDJ Associates, Inc. and former long-time Southwest resident will serve as the emcee. Also, a resolution will be presented by the DC City Council in recognition of the support group’s 13th Anniversary. For more information, contact or visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.