Rev. Tammie Denyse

By Black PR Wire

(Black PR Wire) – 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 five-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 [ Black, indigenous and people of color] 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.” 

Though breast cancer does not have a color, the journey, narrative, and experience of a Black woman surviving cancer are oftentimes radically different from a White woman. Black women are burdened by many factors including lack of adequate support, lack of doctor-patient trust, lack of financial and material resources, lack of awareness and data and lack of education about breast cancer and its many treatments and side effects. 

Survive and Thrive’s purpose is simple and is inspired by the breast cancer diagnosis of Rev. Tammie’s personal journey, the women she serves, commitment to support more Black, indigenous, women of color, and to humanize their experience with breast cancer.

Rev. Tammie says Survive and Thrive is the future of breast cancer advocacy because it is still unacceptable that Black women are dying at 41% higher rates than White women.

“We are implementing tangible support and resources for Black, indigenous, women of color and creating a clearer pathway of communication and understanding between patient and doctor through a more comprehensive picture of the whole woman, not just her diagnosis,” she adds.

Key features of the app are:

  • “I WAS JUST DIAGNOSED” Page that offers an easy “Start Here” option for new survivors.
  • Meditations, affirmations, journals, and reminders created for Breast Cancer Survivors.
  • Support groups, videos, financial resources, oncologists of color, free/low-cost therapy, and other resources. 

This app is available on iOS devices and provided for free by Carrie’s TOUCH.

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