HOUSTON – It was the mid 1980s when Houston faced the economic downfall of the oil bust. During this time many businesses faced foreclosures, and lots of people were out of work.
During a time of despair, two women made it their mission to help those in desperate need.
At the time, co-founders Dorothy Gibbons and Dr. Dixie Melillo were working at Bayshore Medical Center. With many patients out of work, Houstonians were left uninsured and unable to pay for health checkups.
“It became very obvious how many women did not have insurance. We were seeing a lot of late-stage breast cancer,” said Gibbons, co-founder of The Rose.
It wasn’t until Rose Kushner, a journalist for the Baltimore Sun, encouraged Gibbons and Dr. Melillo to leave the hospital and begin an organization that would impact more than 40,000 women and men annually.
In 1986, The Rose began its operation, becoming the first nonprofit breast cancer organization based on the insured covering the costs of the uninsured.