Meet Donna J. Hopkins
Hopkins Breast Cancer Inc.
Twenty-two years ago, I turned my adversity into an opportunity to help others who are being affected by breast cancer by creating Hopkins Breast Cancer Inc., a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to providing financial assistance to men and women in the Washington DC Metropolitan area, who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Being a two-time breast cancer survivor; I understood how important it is to help others win, who cannot win for themselves because of this disease.
I’m so excited about helping those who are impacted by breast cancer. We as a foundation genuinely care about our mission and the positive impact we can make in the cancer community. I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to our Board of Directors, committee members, partners, sponsors and advisors who remain the driving forces in providing critical financial resources and support. With all these resources and support, Hopkins Breast Cancer Inc. mission and vision will continue to propel the organization forward to the next level in helping those in the Washington DC Metropolitan area with breast cancer.
I am a West Virginia native, now living in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Fairmont State University, I earned degrees in Radio & Television Communication and Regents of Arts. An athlete at heart, I earned scholarships in both basketball and track. I am a co-host and reporter for Tony McGee Pro Football Plus on Mid Atlantic Sports Net (MASN), author of Getting to the Other Side of Victory, a public speaker for breast cancer awareness programs, and an inspirational and motivational speaker and an amputee. I’m a people person, a visionary, a life-giver and a problem solver. I’m driven, committed and passionate about helping others.
I served as a board member for the Breast Cancer Care Foundation from 2000 to 2005. From 2000-2004, I served as a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society to educate, increase awareness of breast cancer prevention, and early detection and survival for women. In 2001, Sears, the WNBA, the Washington Mystics and NABCO National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations selected me as the Local Breast Health Hero. In 2011, I represented Under Armour in their Power in Pink national campaign. UA Power in Pink® celebrates the many women who use fitness and exercise to stay healthy and serves as a platform to help raise awareness about breast health. To see my video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7guybZaQ1U. In 2014, I received the Outstanding Alumni award from Fairmont State University. In April 2015, I was honored to receive the 2015 Lombardi Spirit of Life Award during the 10th Annual Women & Wine event which benefits the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Spirit of Life award is “given to a woman who exemplifies character and leadership in promoting breast cancer research and awareness while instilling hope and a spirit of life in all who meet her. In 2015, I was the Fairmont State College Commencement Speaker.
I am a 24-year breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in April of 1997 and again in 1999 with breast cancer. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get breast cancer. However, I beat the odds twice, and I’m still the winner and not breast cancer. An integral role in my survival was early detection, regular self-breast examinations, regular doctors’ visits, along with my annual mammograms. In 1997, I discovered through self-examination a lump in my breast, diagnosed as cancerous. Having undergone my annual mammogram, in 1999 cancer was once again detected. I thought that confronting cancer twice was the most challenging thing I would have to overcome, but in 2010, I had an unforeseeable medical disaster that caused me to lose the lower part of my left leg. I don’t even know how to put into words how flabbergasted I was by this ordeal because what was supposed to be a short hospital stay turned into 2 ½ months in the hospital, three hospitals, and six surgeries and almost the loss of my life. Confronting this adversity was trying, but I contribute my positive outlook on life, attitude, and faith as the factors in surviving the two bouts with cancer. My motto is that I am the winner in everything that I’ve been through and I stand with the gold medal of life.
Cancer has no respect for a person, and it does not discriminate. Unlike many, I had health insurance. If I hadn’t the ordeal would have been so much more traumatic. Many individuals do not have and cannot afford health insurance. I know the feeling that engulfs you when you hear the words, “You have breast cancer.” It is awful when confronted with these words, but it is even more devastating when you don’t have access to adequate health care. The expense, stress, and anxiety that patients with breast cancer and their families confront can be overwhelming.
These realities are the impetus that propelled me to establish The Hopkins Breast Cancer, Inc., the heartbeat and helping hand in the cancer community. On behalf of the cancer patients who will benefit from our efforts, we at Hopkins Breast Cancer Inc. will continue to grow and spread our wings to help those who have breast cancer.