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Personality: Joyce Woolridge

Spotlight on chair of 3rd Annual Women of Faith Praying for A Cure prayer brunch

3/29/2019, 6 a.m.
Joyce Woolridge is an advocate for people to have their annual health checkups and cancer screenings. “Cancer checkups are not ...
Joyce Woolridge

Want to go?

What: 3rd Annual Women of Faith Praying for A Cure prayer brunch, sponsored by the Richmond Metropolitan Chapter of The Charmettes.

When: 11 a.m. Saturday, April 20.

Where: Fifth Baptist Church Family Life Center, 1415 W. Cary St.

Tickets: $30; proceeds to purchase wigs for cancer patients and to support the chapter’s efforts to support children and families fighting cancer.

Details: Keynote speaker, Elder Kathryn Nelson of Mt. Gilead Full Gospel International Ministries in Richmond, and musical guest Gregory Mitchell.

Information and tickets: Joyce Woolridge, event chairperson, (804) 239-0951.

Joyce Woolridge is an advocate for people to have their annual health checkups and cancer screenings.

“Cancer checkups are not to be run from,” she says. “They are to be run to, especially women. It is also important for men because they can have breast or prostate cancer, as well as other forms of the disease.

“As African-Americans, we need to open our minds to say, ‘God has blessed me this year and nothing is wrong.’ So we need to have a (cancer screening again) next year,” Mrs. Woolridge says.

The retired music teacher and Henrico resident takes cancer seriously. Her daughter, Dr. Tanya L. Woolridge, died of breast cancer at age 30.

That is why Mrs. Woolridge joined the Richmond Metropolitan Chapter of The Charmettes Inc., a women’s organization dedicated to bringing community awareness to cancer through education, community projects and health fairs, as well as providing services and support for people with cancer.

Mrs. Woolridge is chair of the chapter’s annual “Women of Faith Praying for A Cure” prayer brunch, scheduled this year for Saturday, April 20. Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used by The Charmettes to purchase wigs for cancer patients, provide mammograms, host community forums, support cancer research efforts and support activities for families and children fighting cancer.

“We believe that through prayer, financial support and research, researchers will eradicate cancer in our lifetime,” Mrs. Woolridge says.

In 1981, The Charmettes adopted a national push to help end cancer. The national organization, established in 1951 in West Palm Beach, Fla., now has 19 chapters in six states and the District of Columbia that have contributed more than $600,000 to the Howard University Cancer Center.

“In 2006, the chemotherapy infusion center at Howard was named The Charmettes Inc. Gwendolyn B. Rodgers Chemotherapy Infusion Suite in honor of the long-term support” the organization has provided, Mrs. Woolridge says.

The late Ms. Rodgers was one of the founders of The Charmettes.

Mrs. Woolridge says her daughter’s death was the turning point for her to help others dealing with cancer. Her daughter, she says, had graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, completed her residency at MCV, done an internal medicine fellowship at the University of Florida and was planning to return to Richmond to practice when she died.

“Young people need to know that you don’t have to be 25 or 30 to have cancer,” she says. “Cancer can affect anyone — from babies to adults.”