Book Review “The Women of The Rose” Dorothy Gibbons


For anyone who has ever thought about creating a nonprofit or wanted to make the world a little better place, The Women of The Rose, is the place to start. Written from an insider’s point of view, the story of this Texas nonprofit serving uninsured women fighting breast during a time when most nonprofits were failing is filled with real life situations sure to make you laugh and cry. Fair warning, the road for nonprofits is paved with danger, unexpected detours and unimaginable rewards, yet it is a journey few take on willingly. Within the history are the stories of women fighting breast cancer, the healthcare system and poverty. By the mid 1980’s the oil bust had paralyzed Texas. Folks were out of work, most had lost their health insurance and many were losing their homes. In the midst of all the chaos and uncertainty, the incidence of breast cancer began its deadly climb. Poor and uninsured women were hit the hardest and many died because they couldn’t get help in time. At a chance meeting in 1984, hospital public relations director Dorothy Gibbons and general surgeon Dr. Dixie Melillo were challenged by the famed journalist Rose Kushner to do something about it. So they decided to start their own non-profit, a diagnostic clinic that would care for the thousands of Texas women who had nowhere else to turn and who would die without help. At a time when succeeding as a non-profit was against all the odds, The Rose was born.
From its humble beginnings in a tiny office in a strip mall, The Rose now serves 40,000 people a year, women from all walks of life, from huge cities or small rural communities who face falling through the cracks of the healthcare system. This is the story of how The Rose was born and how it survived, a story of strong, determined women who did whatever it took to care for one other. It is the story of shrimp boils and skydiving, of pink goats and the pain of watching so many die. It is the story of unfathomable generosity, unexpected corruption, and the hard truth about who can afford healthcare and who can’t. It is a story about the power of believing and a salute to the courage and tenacity of women.

The Rose Cover

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This is the first non-fiction book that I’ve reviewed on this blog. I’ll go ahead and tell you now that the author Dorothy Gibbons who is the CEO and co-founder of The Rose, writes with a passion that will tear at your heart. She is a champion for those in need. She is a guiding light for those who have none. Without her, countless lives would have been lost. Without her struggles, her triumphs and her tenacity, hundreds of thousands of women would undoubtedly be dead. Hundreds of thousands of families would be grieving the loss of their sister, their mother, or their wife. 

Dorothy’s story is hauntingly personal. She minces no words and pulls no punches. She leads the reader through every struggle with such description you feel as if you are her and the weight her shoulders felt and feel every day is laying on your own. She is an incredible woman.

On top of being incredibly informative about The Rose organization, Dorothy brings to light the glaring inaccessibility of health care to the uninsured. She effortless leads the reader through the vast complexities of a system that shuns and dehumanizes the most vulnerable of this countries citizens; the poor. Her organization gives dignity as well as health care to those who rarely receive either.  

A quote from this book that will resonate with me forever is “We must remember who we are”. She is absolutely right. Never before have women had the education and the power to change the world we live in like we do today. We must unleash this power. We must remember the hardships that have plagued women for all of recorded history. We must take those lessons and shape the present and future into a better world. A world where women’s health is given the best possible care. A world where healthcare is a right, not a privilege. We must remember where we came from. Most of all though, we must remember who we are.

The quality of writing and the message this book gives is worth way more than the 5 stars I am awarding it. I hope beyond hope that others will read this book and be moved to make a change. I hope you, like I have, will be moved to raise your voice against injustice.

5 stars


If you would like to donate money or learn more about The Rose, please check out their website. Click the link The Rose. They’re a non-profit organization who is dependent upon donations to provide life saving services . Anything you can donate is much appreciated and will be used to literally save a life.


The Technical Data:

Title: The Women of The Rose | Author(s): Dorothy Gibbons |

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services / Publication Date: 10-11-2015 | Pages: 235 (Paperback) |ISBN: B016IQ7GKQ | Genre(s): Non-Fiction | Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 11-27-2015 | Source: Copy From Author

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