The Common Thread for the Cure Foundation lost one of its founding leaders on July 29, 2021 when Suzann Burkhead Bray, 70, passed away at Beacon Place Hospice Care House in Greensboro. Bray along with her brother, Scott Burkhead, founded The Common Thread for the Cure Foundation in honor of their younger sister, Sandra Burkhead Campbell who died from breast cancer. After seeing first-hand how devastating this disease can be, not only for the individual fighting the disease but for the whole family, Bray focused her passion on helping others and the concept for The Common Thread for the Cure Foundation was born in 2000. The foundation offers Helping Hands Grants for those battling breast cancer in the design and furnishings industry.
Bray was the co-owner and president of International Fabrics, Inc. which was established in 1992 when women leaders in the contract furnishings industry were uncommon. Her company specialized in researching and distributing upholstery materials and textiles for the commercial/contract market including government, military, hospitals, and the airline industries. Prior to establishing International Fabrics, Bray worked as director of the Textiles Division for Shelby Williams Industries, a leading manufacturer of contract furniture for the hospitality and food-service markets, based in Morristown TN.
She involved other leaders from the furnishings and design industries in running The Common Thread for the Cure Foundation as board directors and officers. In the nearly 21 years since it began, the Foundation has given more than 300 confidential Helping Hand Grants totaling over $970,000 to cancer survivors across the US and including Hawaii and Mexico. The goal of the grants is to help those affected by breast cancer maintain as normal a lifestyle as possible.
Bray loved spending time with her family, friends, and beloved dogs, hosting celebrations and holiday gatherings. She was quick witted and loved to hear and tell a good story, especially about her family. She had a passion for genealogy and has researched her family back many generations. She was a member of Morehead United Methodist Church in Greensboro.
A graveside service was held on Aug. 3 in Ramseur, NC. Memorial contributions may be made to The Common Thread for the Cure, P.O. Box 43, Lexington, NC 27293 or www.commonthreadforthecure.org.
About The Common Thread for the Cure Foundation:
A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Common Thread for the Cure Foundation was established in 2000 by Suzann Burkhead-Bray and Scott Burkhead in memory of their sister, Sandra Burkhead Campbell, who lost her long-term battle with breast cancer in February 1999. The organization has awarded more than 250 Helping Hand Grants to recipients in 30 states, Canada, and Mexico—and the number is increasing each year. Raise your hand and join us.
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