We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Jennie Bennett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Jennie, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ breast cancer and almost lost my life following surgery 26 years ago. I began helping women diagnosed with breast cancer to understand their diagnosis, treatment options, and to manage the treatment. In 2007, I started the non-profit, Reconstruction of a Survivor to provide curriculum focused breast cancer support group sessions to women and men diagnosed with this disease. We later began providing financial assistance to the women in the support group who have financial challenges during treatment. Finally, based on research, we started breast health education sessions for undiagnosed African American women because the breast cancer mortality rate is higher than any other ethnic group.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Reconstruction of a Survivor (ROS) is a nonprofit breast organization serving the Greater Houston and surrounding areas. What sets ROS apart from other breast cancer organizations is that we provide curriculum focused breast cancer support group sessions at hospitals and in the community for women and men regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status, or religious background. Additionally, we provide financial assistance to the women in the support group who have financial challenges during treatment. Moreover, we provide breast health education sessions for undiagnosed African American women. This ethnic group dies from this disease more than any other ethnic group. Given the services we provide are not easy, we are constantly seeking funding so that we continue to serve the women who come to us hopeless will feel hopeful. We are always facing the challenge of financial sustainability even though we don’t pay salaries and have donated office space. I have learned of the past 15 years that the job is a team effort and is constant. Women are diagnosed with breast cancer daily in spite of Covid. I want the world to know that after almost dying following a lateral mastectomy, there was a mission in life that I had waiting for me to help others diagnosed with breast and other types of cancer.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a friend visiting the Houston area, I would take them to the restaurants who are our partners and support ROS. Davis Street at Hermann Park would be the first stop for excellent food and service. Ouisie’s Table would be the next stop. Most importantly, I would have them attend one of our breast cancer support group sessions.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a Shoutout to the Reconstruction of a Survivor Board of Directors and the Support Goup Facilitators who lead the breast cancer support groups.
The Post and Luby’s