Remembering Zora Brownby Senator Dianne Feinstein
Posted on 2013-03-07
FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, today I wish to honor the life,
legacy and service of Zora Brown. Zora, who passed away March 3, 2013
at the age of 63, was a forceful advocate for cancer research and
breast cancer awareness. As a three-time breast and ovarian cancer
survivor, Ms. Brown turned her experience into a lifetime of tireless
work to help others affected by cancer.
I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Zora last summer when she participated in a Senate Cancer Coalition forum focused on breast cancer. At the forum, she spoke poignantly and clearly about the impact of breast and ovarian cancer on her family, and on the African-American community. Zora's message was not one of despair, but rather one of hope and perseverance. She compared her own experience with cancer to that of her grandmother and great-grandmother, and highlighted how recent advances in cancer research gave her knowledge and treatment options that the other women in her family never had.
Throughout her career, Zora founded and was associated with countless organizations dedicated to the fight against cancer. After her first diagnosis with breast cancer in 1981, Zora founded the Breast Cancer Resource Committee, an organization dedicated to lowering the breast cancer mortality rate among African Americans. She later founded and served as Chairperson of Cancer Awareness Program Services, CAPS, providing comprehensive educational and prevention programs focusing on cancers affecting women. In 1991, President Bush appointed her to the National Cancer Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute, which helps steer the institute's policy. She served on the board until 1998. Due in part to Zora's influence and persistent advocacy, Congress appropriated $500,000 for breast and cervical screening for low-income, uninsured inner city women. In addition, she has been a part of the American Association for Cancer Research, the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Cancer Awareness Campaign, and the Board of Health in her hometown of Oklahoma City.
With Zora's passing we have lost a great leader and advocate in the fight against cancer. Her passion, grace, and ability to connect with others were [[Page S1263]] qualities that made a lasting impact. It is now up to all of us to carry on her legacy and work toward our shared dream of conquering cancer for everyone. It was an honor to spend time with her and hear through her eloquent words and fighting spirit how cancer touched her life and how she chose to use her personal experience to make a true difference in our world. My heartfelt condolences go out to her family and loved ones.