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online

CURRENT September/October 2015

Back in 1993, when Karen Jackson, founder and CEO of the Sisters Network, first learned she had breast cancer, she had a successful cosmetology business in Los Angeles; she had  health insurance, and she had a supportive family and access to information about the disease. What she couldn’t readily find, she said, was the support from others who had already been down that same path. 

“I needed to know from other women what to expect. The doctors tell you what’s going on; your family is supportive, but not knowing and just reading information is not enough,” she said. “I needed to have sisterly support. I needed answers to questions like: ‘How long does it take? What does it feel like? What do you think?’ We need that, and we don’t stop needing it after a diagnosis.” 
“I did go to the general support meetings designed for everyone, and I found information, but I just didn’t find a sisterhood there,” Franklin said. “When you leave a meeting, sometimes you’d like to go for coffee or meet up later, but I didn’t feel that kind of camaraderie.”
Sensing this might be a universal need, she founded the Sisters Network. 
Based in Houston, the organization now has 40 chapters and 3,000 members. Activities are managed by a local staff of nine.
Headquarters is located in a two-story home on Roseland in Houston’s Third Ward, just south of Texas Southern University. The elegant, homey atmosphere — full of feminine touches — provides the ideal venue for quarterly survivors’ socials, luncheons, lectures and other fund-raising events. There are no individual member dues, but chapters contribute to the national network. 

Read more: CURRENT September/October 2015


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