By Todd Cohen
GREENSBORO, N.C. — In October 2012, during a 10-month period when she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, Christie Lee of Greensboro attended Pink in the Park, an event to raise awareness of breast cancer that was sponsored by The Breast Center of Greensboro Imaging.
At the event, visiting a vendor table for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a nonprofit that works to fight breast cancer, she was invited to apply to be Komen’s Face of Breast Cancer for Guilford County.
She was selected for 2013, and in that role began to receive product donations from companies. So in May 2013, she formed the C Foundation, which provides donated products, financial assistance, discussion groups and information for breast-cancer survivors.
In the past two years, the Foundation has received donations worth $15,000 to $20,000 from over 30 vendors and served at least 3,000 patients, says Lee, who is senior technical team lead at AT&T and works on a volunteer basis as founder and director of operations for the Foundation.
“We are trying to eradicate the financial responsibility” to pay for medical costs, daily living and needs such as prostheses, she says.
The C Foundation has landed two official product sponsors, including K-Y and Priscilla McCall’s, and provides patients with donated products ranging from those related to female libido to makeup, footwear, exercise apparel and books.
The Foundation, which counts on 10 volunteers plus Lee, also sponsors Let’s Talk, a bimonthly forum that meets at Greensboro restaurants, beauty spas, community centers and hotels, and typically attracts 20 to 30 people.
“We discuss common side effects that are being experienced by most of the survivors,” Lee says. “We then give them products to help assist.”
The next forum, which will focus on skin and hair care, is scheduled for June 20 at the Double Tree on High Point Road.
C Foundation is expanding beyond North Carolina, and has begun introducing itself in Virginia and in New Orleans, says Lee, who devotes about 15 hours a week, during the evening, to the charity.
It will hold a fundraising events in October at a restaurant in Alexandria, Va., and in November at the same jewelry store in Woodbridge, Va., where it held an event last year that raised $1,000.
And in April, Lee and two other volunteers visited New Orleans to talk to breast-cancer centers and to vendors.
She also hopes to begin working with hospitals that have treatment centers for breast cancer, along with support groups for patients and survivors.
Lee, whose treatment included chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and radiation, and ended in December 2012, says she now is considered cancer-free.
“The experiences from one survivor to another are unique,” Lee says. “We aim to ensure that we broadly help all those involved.”