Breast cancer doesn’t have a color but the journey, narrative, and experience of a Black woman surviving cancer are radically different from a white woman. Studies suggest Black women do not have the highest diagnosis of breast cancer incidence, yet they have a higher death rate than other races of women.
When Rev. Tammie Denyse received her diagnosis, she learned that Black women had a 41% higher mortality rate than white women with an identical diagnosis. Shaken by this revelation, she was propelled by her personal wish to LIVE despite the diagnosis and be there to save a community of Black women facing the same circumstances.
Now a 17-year breast cancer survivor, she has dedicated herself to advocating for cancer patients and their families through the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. She co-founded Carrie’s Touch with her late sister Lynne Rankin-Cochran targeting the local faith-based community.
When Rev. Tammie realized the gut-wrenching statistic that 41% of Black women die more often than white women, she sought to understand the reasons why.
Diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer that had already begun to spread, her oncologist told her that she may not live to see the coveted 5-year anniversary.
She was offered to participate in a clinical trial but was shocked when her oncologist shared she was unaware of how Black women were responding to the trial. It was at that moment that Rev. Tammie was determined to live not only for herself and her children but also to help other Black women live.
In their 15th year of operations, Carrie’s TOUCH launched the Survive and Thrive app. It is the first-of-its-kind app made by BIPOC women for BIPOC women in the fight for their LIFE after a breast cancer diagnosis. The Survive and Thrive app aims to close the breast cancer mortality disparity for Black women. They are steadfast in their commitment to reverse the staggering statistic that remains today.
Rev. Tammie explains, “Being a pastor and a Black woman, focusing on the faith-based community was organic for us,” she continues. “We needed to get the word out to Black women in the community and educate them about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.”