“I started the clinics in 2005 after the Tsunami to benefit the American Red Cross. At the time we put a donation box out and raised $1,500,” said Branham.
Branham knew then that the members of her club were passionate about giving back. Donna’s daughter was a junior tennis player and knew many of the pros. Donna recruited a small committee and her daughter recruited the pros. They decided that the money should go to support breast cancer education, outreach, and research because 8 of the 56 ladies in the tennis club had breast cancer or were breast cancer survivors.
In just seven years, the event has grown tremendously. The 2010 event had 10 Official Host Sites, 101 Tennis Professionals, 818 participants and generated over $75,000. To date, the Bosom Buddies Benefit Clinic has donated over $200,000 for breast cancer research and awareness.
The committee wanted to support research in the state of North Carolina and Karen Bowman did research on where to invest. Karen said she saw the Breast Cancer NCI-SPORE (Special Program of Research Excellence) and pulled up the map that shows UNC Lineberger’s outreach across the state. Donna said, “our tour of the N.C. Cancer Hospital and meeting with Drs. Carey and Amos only reinforced that we had made the best choice in selecting breast cancer research being done at UNC Lineberger.”