MEET OUR FOUNDER
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
After having a lumpectomy in 1990 and then a mastectomy in 1992, Brenda J. Phillips Hong was on the lookout for a Breast Cancer support group that met her needs. After a few visits with a group in Detroit, she realized that group wasn't for her. Hong was a single African-American woman with no children or grandchildren. She was concerned about learning how to live with what she had been through and not feel empty. "I wanted to learn how to live life and learn how I could be the best that I could. I wasn’t getting it from that group. The group’s participants were concerned about seeing their daughter’s get married or living long enough to see their son’s or grandson’s bar mitzvah”. Hong, now approaching 70, eventually started Brown Bosom Buddies, in Detroit ~ a group aimed at teaching Breast Cancer Survivors how to be “Victors” rather than feel like Victims! When she moved back to Birmingham in 2002, she got wrapped up in relocating and wasn't active with any support group. Upon finding the need to expand her original thought pattern, a non-profit corporation was formed. This enabled efforts of reaching out to more individuals in need of assistance.
By 2010, she decided to launch Brenda's Brown Bosom Buddies [BBBB] in Birmingham. The nonprofit group, geared to helping Victors and families, now has 23 members. All members aren’t Breast Cancer Victors, but feel the need to support the mission. This organization is dedicated to Charitable, Religious, Educational and Scientific purposes. Its mission is to Educate, Facilitate, and Install Programs and Activities that will empower Women and Men who are either Breast Cancer Victors or have been directly affected by this dreaded disease. The target audience is Women of Color. The aim is to establish and operate non-profit educational programs on Breast Cancer Awareness for Minorities, low to medium income families, as well as the underserved. Further, to assist and encourage Breast Cancer Victors to “MO, GO, LO” !BBBB is tailored to speak LIFE to those who are in need of encouragement during and after the treatment and healing process.
This organization is the amazing result of one woman’s passion and pursuit to conquer a disease and inspire a culture of women to do the same. Ms. Hong is passionate about bringing Breast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection into our community. BBBB sponsors two annual signature events: Pink Hat/Tie Luncheon where Breast Cancer Victors are honored and “Sistah Strut” where Awareness is brought into the community via Walking, Running, Strolling, etc. near and around the Legion Field area. At least four Community Health Forums are held annually and are free to the public. BBBB provides: transportation to local patients for Breast Cancer Treatments, Light Housekeeping Assistance for recently diagnosed patients who have undergone surgery, Financial Assistance with Mammograms, and a Scholarship Assistance Award via the Birmingham Black Nurses Association.