A small yet mighty women’s organization takes on a fierce fight against cancer
By Karen Doss Bowman
Photography by Sonya Revell
The Charmettes’ members: Tara Paramore (chapter president), Patsy Green, Cecily Robinson-Due, and Tammy Thomas
group of philanthropic-minded women is making a powerful impact in the fight against cancer. The Miami-Dade County chapter of The Charmettes Inc., a national civic organization dedicated to eradicating cancer, is in the midst of a campaign to support the work of Sophia George, Ph.D., a research associate professor at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The grassroots effort, with a $50,000 goal, is raising funds through activities including a virtual walkathon, a St. Patrick’s Day “Give Green” initiative and a cookbook.
“This campaign was a big ask for our group of 25 members, but everyone is catching the vision,” said chapter secretary Cecily Robinson-Duffie, who lost her mother-in-law to cancer. “We hope to inspire other small organizations to take on similar challenges.”
Dr. George’s research focuses on understanding sporadic and inherited breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers in Black women. The Charmettes’ contribution will allow her team to collect preliminary data that can strengthen applications for grants from the National Institutes of Health. Ultimately, Dr. George’s findings will benefit women of all races.
“I’m passionate about understanding the development of these aggressive diseases that disproportionately affect Black women,” Dr. George said. “We want to prevent disease and improve outcomes so that moms, sisters, aunts and daughters with these cancers can live longer.”
The Charmettes are fierce in their fight against cancer. Many members are survivors, and those who succumbed to the disease are considered “cancer martyrs.” Chapter president Tara Paramore lost her parents to pancreatic cancer and understands cancer’s devasting impact.
“If our efforts can inspire other individuals or organizations to come on board,” Paramore said, “our community will be so much richer.”
To help, visit miami.edu/GiveSylvester/GeorgeLab