Who We Are
The mission of Sisters Network Triangle NC (SNTNC) is to increase awareness, both locally (in and around the North Carolina communities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, known collectively as the “Triangle”) and nationally, of the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African American community. SNTNC provides outreach education in underserved African American communities to encourage early breast cancer screening and offers a support network for breast cancer survivors and those afflicted with the disease. In support of its mission, the organization holds twice monthly support group meetings and a variety of outreach activities in the community.
Due to COVID 19 restrictions, SNTNC meets virtually on WebEx conference calls on the second Thursday of each month. Prior to COVID restrictions SNTNC met in Durham on the fourth Thursday and in Raleigh on the second Thursday of each month. These meetings allow individuals currently battling the disease to communicate with breast cancer survivors (and service providers) who share their stories and pass along pertinent information regarding other services that may be available to them.
Portia Scott Hedgepeth, Interim President
Portia Scott Hedgepeth was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 1993 at the tender age of 31 years old. She credits her survivorship to the 3 P’s: Power, Positive Thinking, and Prayer. Sisters Network has provided her with a great support resource for Black women that was not available when she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. In addition to being a 27 year survivor, one of her greatest Blessings was the birth of her daughter Maya – post breast cancer.
In 2015, Susan G. Komen Triangle presented Portia with the Jane Mosley “Keep Up the Fight” award for making a significant difference in the fight against breast cancer during the Race For the Cure event. Portia graduated from Ferrum College in Ferrum, Va., with a B.S. in Small Business Management and a minor in Public Relations. She currently works in Real Estate as a property management specialist.
Portia is an active member in Sisters Network Triangle, NC and a regular volunteer of the Tea for Two, The Block Walk, and Outreach events. She also coordinates the Breast Cancer Awareness program at her church and is a regular participant in the Triangle Race for the Cure.
Portia is a native and current resident of Durham where she resides with her husband Lionel and daughter Maya.
Carla Lewis, Treasurer
Carla D. Lewis, recognized in 1994 as an African American Business Professional, earned her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MBA from Strayer University.
Carla is a survivor who joined Sisters Network in January 2014 after being diagnosed in December 2013 with stage I Triple Negative Breast Cancer. her go to scripture throughout her cancer journey and to this day is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
Carla is a registered Tax Return Preparer with over 25 years of accounting experience. She has held numerous Treasurer positions. Among these are Treasurer, HHS Class of 1984, (1984 – present), Treasurer of Board of Directors, Genesis Home (1997-1998), Bookkeeper – Calvary Ministries of the West End (1999-2002), and Treasurer, Nicole4Apex Town Council Campaign (2013-present). Carla is an active member of Sisters Network and volunteers with CARE ministry of World Overcomers Christian Church.
Coleen Crespo, Secretary
Coleen Crespo was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Fayetteville, NC, the oldest of seven children of a military family. She resides in Durham, N.C. and has one son, Iverson D. Trollinger, III, who attends Winston Salem State University.
She has earned a B.S. in chemistry with biology minor; and a Master of Information Science from North Carolina Central University. She is certified in Clinical Trials – Data Management.
With 23 years of professional experience, she has been employed the past seven years at Duke University. She is a Clinical Researcher Coordinator, III for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology and is Patient Advocate for various Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill clinical trials.
The Alliance is a national clinical trials network sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. It seeks to reduce the impact of cancer on people by uniting a broad community of scientists and clinicians committed to discovering, validating and disseminating effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of cancer.
She is an active member of Sisters Network Triangle NC. She remains an active member of her local community, volunteering in the public school system and the Church.
Sisters Network Triangle NC Chapter (SNTNC), an affiliate of Sisters Network Inc. was established in February, 2003 by six breast cancer survivors. The Chapter’s founding members are: Valarie C. Worthy, Dean J. Johnson, Brenda Phillips, Jackie Thorpe-Hollingsworth, Jo Ann Blackston, and Liz Cofer. Two of our founding members, Jackie Thorpe-Hollingsworth and Jo Ann Blackston, have passed away since our inception. SNTNC was recognized as the Outstanding New Affiliate Chapter of 2003 by our national organization.
Currently, SNTNC has over 80 members. Due to COVID 19 restrictions we are currently meeting via conference call, however, In 2017 we added a new meeting location in Raleigh, NC. at Chavis Community Center, 505 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Raleigh, NC 2760, the second Thursday of each month. We also met the fourth Thursday of each month in Durham, NC. at, Kappas of Durham Foundation Community Center, 3917 Fayetteville Street in Durham NC. We adhere to our National Mission which is educating African American women on the devastating impact of breast cancer. We provide outreach and education to the women in the Triangle community and surrounding areas.
We are the oldest affiliate chapter of Sisters Network in North Carolina. There are Chapters in Greensboro, NC and Charlotte, NC. SNTNC has received numerous awards for our outreach efforts. We were recipient of the 5th Annual Lamplighter Award in 2006. SNTNC is a 501 (c) organization.
Our annual Tea for Two Pink Ribbon Awareness, unfortunately canceled in 2020, reaches over 5000 women through educational outreach efforts of local churches. We provide pink ribbons and information cards for each attendee to share with their respective churches. We typically have over 100 churches represented at the Tea for Two.
We encourage monthly self-breast exams, annual mammograms, and clinical breast exams. Thank you for helping us to reach our goal of educating African American women about breast cancer in the Triangle community. SNTNC appreciates your continued support as we continue to fight breast cancer in North Carolina.
Spotlight highlights a member volunteer of the Sisters Network Triangle organization. This member works in the community to educate other women about breast cancer and survivorship.
Will be updated for 2021