For over 33 years, Carin’ & Sharin’ has served the Memphis and Shelby County breast cancer community.
Through educational programs, resources, services, and support provided to patients, caregivers, families and community leaders informed and knowledgeable communities have become established.
Carin' and Sharin' was established in 1989 by founder Gwen Brown, ACSW, CMSW.
In 2002 the organization became a pillar of the of the Urban Health Education Support Services (UHESS), a 501c3 non-profit organization.
To provide education, support and an outlet for socialization to individuals living with breast cancer through Carin and Sharin. It is simply unacceptable for any women to suffer
with breast cancer alone. Initial efforts were concentrated on African American women but efforts have expanded to assist women of all races and men.
Each year, we rely on gifts large and small from individuals, companies, and foundations to deliver our programs and services.
Click learn more to see a list of our major sponsors. Collaboration plays a key role in our efforts to fulfill our mission.
University of Memphis, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Middle Tennessee State University, LeMoyne-Owen College, Meharry Medical College, Notre Dame University, The American Cancer Society, The Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium, Tennessee Cancer Coalition, Tennessee Department of Health Disparity Task Force, Rabble Health, and Men’s Health Network.
John M. Gilmore, President, Assistant Professor of Teaching - University of Memphis, Department of Anthropology
Judy Seals-Togbo, MSW, Secretary/Treasurer, Chief Navigator and Facilitator
Matthew King, CPA, Chief Financial Officer, King Accounting and Management Services
Sylvia Watts, R.N., PhD
Brenda Partee Taylor, Retired Registered Nurse
Bertha Fayne, Cancer Control Strategic Partnership Manager, American Cancer Society/North
Barbara Mays, Breast Cancer Survivor, Retired, University of Tennessee
Health Advisory & Data review Panel
Carla Baker, R.N.,CSN
Brenda Kyles, Health Dept
Aubrey Kelly, MS,MBA, Rabble Health,
The Hot Pink Information and Resource Line connects you to a trained expert or volunteer who has had a personal experience with breast cancer. Our navigators and community health workers can direct and/or connect you to resources and up to date pertinent information.
We are here to educate, support, empower and advocate for you.
Please be aware that the HOT PINK LINE is not a crisis hotline. If you are feeling hopeless and think you are in danger of harming yourself, Carin’ and Sharin’ strongly encourages you to call the National Suicide Prevention Life Line at 988 immediately.
All conversations are confidential. Your details will only be shared with your matched volunteer to help personalize your services.
There is no cost for this service. We are a non-profit organization funded by donations and sponsorships.
Support groups meeting are typically held monthly. COVID 19 protocols will be followed at all times. The meetings offer a great opportunity for survivors and caregivers to connect and support one another.
The meetings may include:
Carin’ and Sharin’ and UHESS are very active in the greater Memphis and Shelby County area.
We reach diverse communities, ethnic groups, and those who are underserved. From living rooms to classrooms, from warehouses to board rooms, from community centers to churches, from State Capitals to Capitol Hill, we are there, to make a difference. We provide health educational information, community resources, referrals for mammograms, men and women preventive care and much more.
Carin’ and Sharin’ utilizes navigators and community workers who live in this community. They understand the needs, concerns, and questions of the people they serve, and understand the barriers they face.
Our principals for achieving effective community outreach are:
Partial List of group activities:
Shelby Farms Lunch and Learn, Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium LIVE! equity summit, Methodist Bonheur’s Hospital My Sisters Keeper, SGK Memphis Mid-South Race for the Cure, Blue Knight Breast Cancer Awareness Ride, Meharry Medical College COVID 19 and the African American Community initiative, American Cancer Society CHARS & Community Action Team of Shelby County(CATS) educational programs.
Breast cancer can be very expensive, especially for those with limited incomes.
The COVID-19 health crisis has created increased financial hardship for many people, including those with breast cancer.
Financial assistance is granted to those who meet pre-determined eligibility criteria.
The financial assistance provided to members will be used to address issues associated with cancer survivorship.
*This resource is used only when other resources/services are not readily available to the member.
Breast Cancer does not care how old you are or what part of town you live in. Black women are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than White women, despite a lower risk of being diagnosed with the disease. Higher death rates are partly due to later-stage diagnosis. Cancers diagnosed at a later, more advanced stage are typically more complicated to treat. About 82% of Black women live at least 5 years after their initial breast cancer diagnosis, compared to 92% of White women.
American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures for African American/Black People 2022-2024. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, 2022
With your financial support Carin’ and Sharin’ and UHESS can continue to provide patient navigation, care giver support, assistance with co-pays, preventive & medical treatment options, rent/mortgage and basic necessities of life.
Please DONATE today by clicking the button.
Gwendolyn Brown, ACSW, CMSW, is the Founder and CEO Emeritus of the Urban Health Education and Support Services Foundation. Her career has included working as an oncology social worker, a Center for Disease Control cancer project coordinator for West Tennessee, and assistant professor at the UT School of Social Work. Mrs. Brown has authored publications and has been a co-investigator for research efforts at the UT School of Nursing, UT Preventive Medicine and the U of M, at Kansas City, UT School of Social Work, at Nashville & Middle Tennessee State University, and the University of Notre Dame.
The Intercultural Cancer Council housed at Baylor College of Medicine selected Mrs. Brown to receive its 2014 Dorothy I. Height Community Advocacy Award. The award is given to an outstanding individual who has worked tirelessly with cancer survivors. December 9, 2017 was declared Gwen Brown Day by the Tennessee legislature in honor and recognition of her work.
Judy Seals-Togbo, MSW: is the lead education and outreach Facilitator. Judy is a 28- year breast cancer survivor. She completes and oversees assessments to determine individuals’ needs. Judy coordinates monthly support group sessions and community outreach activities. She is a “goodwill” ambassador, always assuring support group members who are having a “bad day”, homebound, with limited resources or unmet needs are taken care of properly. Judy is the main character in the impactful Hats Off to Breast Cancer skit. This is a humorous and very informative breast cancer performance which covers the importance of early detection, risk factors and ways to lower those risks.
In 2021 Judy was selected by The Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium as the Advocate of the Year. Judy actively serves as an American Cancer Society Community Health Worker
Carla Baker, R.N., CSN: is the Chief Program Officer. Carla is the former Chief Operating Office for Common Table Health Alliance and Project Director of the Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium. She is the Chairman of the West Tennessee Cancer Coalition. During her medical career, Carla successfully coached the first primary care practices in the Memphis & Shelby County area to achieve NCQA Level 2 & 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). She directed and coordinated statewide activities of the Home & Community-Based Medicaid Waiver for elderly and disabled and Traumatic Brain Injury programs. Because of personal experiences as a cancer survivor and care giver she understands the importance of being an informed patient and caregiver.
In 1996 Carla was chosen by Celebrate Nursing as one of the Top 100 Nurses of the Mid-South.
Carin’ & Sharin’ utilizes trained navigators and Community Health Workers to help coordinate care, locate community resources and offer support to clients throughout their cancer journey.