The Rose hosts 4th annual Ensemble Theatre fundraiser to decrease high breast cancer death rate of African American women

HOUSTON — On Sunday, The Rose bought “out the house” at the Ensemble Theater in Midtown Houston for an afternoon of entertainment, refreshments and great door prizes, plus a chance to impact the lives of African American women.

The reception started at 1:30 p.m., followed by an exclusive showing of Sassy Mamas, a romantic comedy about three women who confidently pursue their heart’s desires. This year, The Rose at The Ensemble raised over $30,000 to fund 200 mammograms for patients of The Rose.

National studies show African American women are 45 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than Caucasian women. However, in Houston, that rate is even higher, spiking to 60 percent. Awareness and access to mammography are keys to reducing these alarming statistics and the reasons behind The Rose at The Ensemble event.

Three years ago, Chris Noble of The Rose and Kim Roxie, owner of Lamik Beauty, wanted to create an event that would increase mammograms among African American women and would also drive home the appalling message of the higher death rate. They created The Rose at The Ensemble to bring screening mammograms to women through The Rose’s mobile program. The event makes sure African American women have diagnostic follow-up and access to treatment when needed.

“Awareness is necessary because African American women need to know they are at a higher risk for more aggressive diseases like breast cancer that are also being detected at an earlier age in their community,” said Chris Noble, Director of Corporate and Business Relations at The Rose. “Without access to mammography, we will never change the outcomes for these women.”

Last year, The Rose cared for 5,552 African American women of which 733 were uninsured. While many received screening and had good results, 200 uninsured also needed diagnostic work-ups including ultrasounds, biopsies and physician consultations. In total, 991 essential procedures were provided. More care was needed for 23 women who were diagnosed and moved into treatment, of which the youngest was 38 years old.

Among The Rose at The Ensemble guests who supported mammograms and breast cancer treatment awareness for African American women were local business leaders Sheila Jackson-Lee, Marcus Manson, Misha McClure, Ashley Turner, Zawadi Bryant and Carl Davis. Food was provided by Julia Cooks, the organic catering catering company and Sweets by Gabby, the local, organic cupcake company created by child entrepreneur Gabriella. The presenting sponsor at the event was Merrill Lynch. Top sponsors included Community Sponsor, Fort Bend Church, Lamik Beauty, Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care, Bee Busy Wellness Center and more.