As Breast Cancer Awareness Month approaches, it is impossible to ignore the startling disparities in the mortality rate and lack of representation for BIPOC women, especially Black women, affected by the disease. According to, 1 in 8 women of color will be diagnosed with breast cancer and specifically Black women are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. Black women are also more likely than women of all other races to develop triple negative breast cancer, which is associated with poorer short-term prognosis. 

That’s where “For the Breast of Us” (FTBOU) comes in. The organization was founded by CEO Marissa Thomas to empower women of color, affected by breast cancer, to make the rest of their lives the best of their lives through education, advocacy and community. After being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35, she noticed that most breast cancer support groups lacked any representation and there were hardly any " organizations that focus solely on all women of color" despite them having the highest mortality rate. Now as a former healthcare professional, survivor, and thriver, Thomas is uniquely positioned for this journey.

For the Breast of Us. Image: courtesy of For the Breast of Us.

Through FTBOU, Thomas has created a robust network for those affected by the disease. This October, she will host the organization's first ‘sneaker ball’ called, “We Run This Gala” in Houston, Texas. The incredible event, which will feature guest speakers and networking opportunities, is all about celebrating breast cancer survivors and thrivers nationwide, those advocating and educating our community, and those no longer with us. All attendees are encouraged to dress in formal attire paired with with their favorite sneakers because “fighting breast cancer is not all glitz and glam. It’s a perfect blend between what makes you fearless, beautiful but also real and vulnerable. This is what thriving breast cancer looks like.”

Speaking on the sisterhood and support group she has created through FTBOU, Thomas states, "being able to have a space where women of color can read and share stories and experiences, connect with other women who were like them who have also ultimately been diagnosed with breast cancer is very important in today's day and age."

For those who are unable to make the gala, FTBOU also has a strong online presence in various spaces, from their information-filled website, to a private yet robust Facebook group and page, Instagram@forthebreastofus, and other social media platforms. 

To purchase tickets and learn more information about the gala, click here.