Our by-laws require the Board be comprised of no less than three (3) and no more than seven (7). The majority of the Board members shall be breast cancer survivors. There must be at least one Director representing each of the following professional categories: medical (physician, physician's assistant, registered nurse, etc; legal (Attorney, Paralegal, etc; and financial (Accountant, Bookkeeper, etc; A Director may be a breast cancer survivor and also represent one of the professional categories.
Our Mission: Sisterhood of Survivors assists newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and their families, and offer on-going support to
Shary Wofford, Supporter
Shary's closest friend is a breast cancer survivor and Sisterhood of Survivors (SOS) was there to offer support for her during her journey. Shary has shown her support for SOS by serving with her friend on the Membership Committee for the last year. She has helped with several fundraisers over the past couple of years.
Although Shary is not a survivor, SOS means a lot to her and she fully supports the SOS mission and would like to contribute to the organization by volunteering to serve on the Board of Directors. In this way, she hopes to ensure that SOS is a group that will be around for the next survivor or her best friend.
Shary hopes to bring a different perspective to the Board of Directors and perhaps offer insight into windows other cannot.
We welcome Shary!
Julie Tipps, Survivor
"The fact that S.O.S. can help touch and support breast cancer patients in our community on a one to one basis is a very special role…..my mother's, my sister's, and my own diagnosis of breast cancer last year have moved me to reach out and offer my time and energy."
Jule Tipps, now retired, had a diverse nursing career spanning the past forty years. Her professional experience included: teaching at the University of Nebraska and Hartnell College in Salinas, California; public health nursing; administrative and management positions at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel; and children's psychiatric nursing. The past seventeen years she was employed by St. Agnes Medical Center in home health nursing, oncology floor nursing, and as a post anesthesia recovery nurse.
Mrs. Tipps received her BSN from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska and her MSN from University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Julie Tipps, RN, BSN, MSN
Lisa Harwood, Supporter
Debbie Garrett, CDP
Debbie Garrett serves as the Program Manager for the California Health Collaborative which is the Regional Contractor for the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Cancer Detection Program: Every Woman Counts (CDP: EWC). She manages the Clinical and Health Education components of the program for 22 counties in the Central Valley and Gold Country regions that promotes breast and cervical cancer awareness, as well as provider training and technical assistance. Although Ms. Garrett is still considered a fairly new initiate to the arena of women’s health issues having been with the Collaborative for almost three years, she is experienced with the devastating effects of the disease process due to losing her mother to breast cancer. Additionally, she comes from a background of social work and long-term care, where commitment and vigorous pursuit of collaboration with community-based organizations is essential to educate and empower the community in addressing their individual health issues. In addition, she is an active member of the Kern County Comprehensive Cancer Awareness Program, the Community Wellness Collaborative, and several other committees and taskforces throughout the Central Valley and Gold Country region that address breast and cervical cancer awareness to underserved communities. Ms. Garrett has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a Masters’ in Health Administration.
Oscar Haynes, Supporter
Oscar served over four years in the US Air Force during the Vietnam era and a graduate of California State University Fresno with a Bachelors of Arts. He taught thirty-four years for the Fresno Unified School District and retired in 2005. Oscar has helped families by volunteering
with the Fresno County Department of Social Service as a family advocate, instructor for parenting and foster parents. He also has been involved with feeding the homeless and helping the less fortunate through his church. Now, Oscar is a substitute teacher and enjoys volunteering in his local community.
Sisterhood of Survivors is one of the organizations he actively participates in with a very important reason driving him to become so involved: his daughter, Charyce. During the holiday season in 2005, Oscar and his family learned his daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although he was aware of breast cancer, breast cancer did not personally affect him until then. After finding out the shocking news, Sisterhood of Survivors reached out to his daughter with comfort, help, and support as they do with every new woman, becoming a part of their group quickly. Oscar watched his daughter through that difficult time and noticed what the Sisterhood brought to her. It was then that he decided to become more involved with Sisterhood of Survivors.
From watching his daughter’s journey, he learned a lot about the disease and what a family’s perspective is from the outside. With Oscar’s experience with caring for his daughter, he knows first-hand what to expect and can help guide new family members through their journeys as well. He is prepared to show people what they will be faced with and how to cope with the feelings of someone who has to watch their loved one fight through cancer. Oscar is the support Sisterhood of Survivors needs to help not only the survivors, but families fight the battle as well. He is a whole hearted believer of pay it forward and has a wonderful spirit to guide new and old members through anything that comes their way. As Oscar and Martina McBride say, “When you feel lost and scared to death, I’m gonna love you through it.”
Susan Gonsalves, Survivor
Susan Gonsalves is retired from Fresno County after a long career in Mental Health Services. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and since retirement has been an adjunct faculty at California State University, Fresno, in the Department of Social Work Education. Each spring semester she teaches a Public Mental Health Services class which focuses on the Recovery Model.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2009. During her career she learned first hand from mental health consumers what being a survivor entailed, as she witnessed consumers survive incredible psychiatric challenges everyday. Also, the importance of peer support in providing hope and helping each individual learn more about their own inner strengths. She found this hope and support from the wonderful and brave heroines she met at the Cancer Treatment Center while waiting for her treatment. She also had the support and love from friends and family.
She is looking forward to serving on the Sisterhood of Survivors and it is her desire to provide hope and support to others diagnosed with breast cancer.
Isabel Trejo, Survivor
Isabel Trejo is a Fresno State graduate, with a degree in business law, employed by Wild, Carter & Tipton as a corporate and real estate paralegal. She balances her professional life with her domestic life, which includes her husband (Jason) and two young children (Ethan and Kalista), and her personal life, which include her spending time with her family and friends and any and all outdoor activities, running, photography and dancing.
Mrs. Trejo was unexpectedly diagnosed breast cancer in 2011 at age 36 and has since become active within Sisterhood of Survivors’ Board of Directors and Young Survivors Group. Mrs. Trejo has become an advocate for the use of cold-caps (a European method of preserving your hair during chemotherapy), which she used successfully in 2011 and for women of all ages to be tuned into their bodies when things seems adrift. Despite her body and mind being forever changed as a result of her experience with breast cancer, her positive energy and thirst for life remains. When first diagnosed, Sisterhood of Survivors was there to support Mrs. Trejo and she now wishes to give back through her own participation in the organization. Her goal is to bring her leadership, voice and optimism to Sisterhood of Survivors and to lend a helping hand within the community to other women in need during their journey.