By Eloise Crayton, August 2012
The Breakfast Club Inc. was founded in January 1997 when three breast cancer survivors met with a woman who had just received a diagnosis of breast cancer to discuss options of care and coping mechanisms. This meeting over breakfast lasted four hours. At the end of this meeting the woman asked if the three could meet with her again the following month. Within six months the meeting had grown to ten women. In 1999 The Breakfast Club Inc. became a formalized group and incorporated. By August 2000 we became a not-for profit tax-exempt agency so we could better serve the community. We now have over 200 members including the Breakfast Club Brothers and Breakfast Club Kids groups. BCI also has a nine-member board that oversees its programs. The three breast cancer survivors who met with the woman in 1997 are still members of the board.
The Breakfast Club Inc. (BCI) began as a breast cancer support group serving primarily African American women residing in North St. Louis City and County. Over the years other programs have been implemented and the mission has broadened. Current mission is: To impact the St. Louis Metropolitan community through education, awareness, resources and support concerning breast health, breast cancer and breast cancer prevention and screening.
The Breakfast Club Inc. programs and activities include the following: Monthly Support Group Meeting, The "Buddy" Program, Faith on The Move, The Bra and Breast Prostheses Project, Breast Health Outside the Box, The Comfort Kit Program, BCI Annual Seminar, Spiritual Team, Annual Survivors Holiday Celebration and Seminar. Since its inception The Breakfast Club Inc. has provided education regarding breast health to more than 12,000 people. BCI has provided support services to more than 500 women dealing with breast cancer. Since 2007 BCI distributed over 1300 bras and more than 600 breast prostheses to women who could not afford them. Since 2005 our Faith on the Move program has made mammograms accessible to over 2300 women in local churches. In 2011, BCI provided one-on-one support to forty-seven newly diagnosed breast cancer survivors, coordinated the mammography screening of 458 women at local churches, energy assistance offices and health fairs and educated more than 2000 people in regard to breast cancer, its treatment and the need for mammography screening. In 2011 one-hundred (100) women attended the annual breast cancer seminar. In 2012 103 women attended the annual seminar.