Los Angeles, California
Shirley Brown was diagnosed with Breast Cancer thirteen years ago at the age of forty-eight. Due to the fact that no one in her family had breast cancer, she was referred to a group called “Women of Color Breast Cancer Survivors Project.” While attending meetings, she noticed that some of the women there were having to deal not only with their diagnosis, but also with the realities that long term care presents.
Some of the women had to work out how to get quality medical care that was still affordable, how to pay bills while they were not working, find housing during and after treatment, and many other things. While she was fighting her cancer, she had to put helping these women on hold, but once she had beaten the disease, she came back full force.
She became a team leader for the organization and worked directly with women involved. She also secured them a seat on the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund’s board of advisors so that they would have more of a say where cancer research dollars were spent and served as a peer reviewer for the Department of Defense, deciding which research proposals would be most beneficial.
Shirley Brown is a great example of what one person can do when they want to help others. Showing courage and determination, she made herself into a decision maker on the topic of breast cancer, and has been able to help countless other people affected by breast cancer.