Our Founder

Jamil Rivers

Founder, The Chrysalis Initiative

The Chrysalis Initiative was born from Jamil’s experiences offering guidance to women on how to thrive with breast cancer, even as she was actively receiving chemo herself.  At only 39 years old, Jamil was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer de novo.  The determination to fight and survive for her family launched her into vigorous research to understand and contend with breast cancer.  The extensive research Jamil undertook along her own journey became the foundation of a lifelong commitment to exploring and enacting optimal and comprehensive breast cancer care.

Jamil went on to participate in numerous community health events which facilitated the design and funding of two metastatic clinical trials.  This afforded her the opportunity to meet with leadership within the PA governor’s office and congressional leaders in D.C. 

She became an advocate, using her knowledge base and experiences to help advance legislative policy, medical research, and customize support to better meet the needs of individuals who have breast cancer (particularly metastatic), Black patients and other disparate groups.

Jamil is Board President of METAvivor Research and Support, Inc.  She is a Young Advocate Alum, Board Member of Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Advisory Chair of the Knowledge is Power: Understanding Black Breast Cancer series.  She is a policy science and health equity advocate and metastatic advisory committee member with Susan G. Komen. 

In addition, she is a member and patient advisor of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance.  Jamil is also a Project LEAD graduate and proposal reviewer for the Breast Cancer Research program with the Department of Defense. 

Jamil also testified to the FDA in order to connect many women with resources for screenings, treatment, and support.  She has been featured in People Magazine, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Tribune, national campaigns for Anthropologie, Novartis, Pfizer and Cancer and Careers, as well as on CBS News and Good Morning America. 

Jamil also incorporates integrative therapies and is doing well thanks to chemotherapy coupled with improving her nutrition.  She and her husband have three children and reside in Drexel Hill, PA.

What People Are Saying About Jamil Rivers

“The Chrysalis Initiative brings real world solutions to addressing healthcare disparities through an innovative approach. It provides educational and navigational support for Black women with breast cancer AND educational and training programs for health care providers. Founder Jamil Rivers combines her personal breast cancer and advocacy experiences with her deep knowledge of the health care systems to create a program that helps Black women get the comprehensive care they deserve and helps our health care workers and systems address health care disparities. Living Beyond Breast Cancer welcomes The Chrysalis Initiative as a new nonprofit partner and I look forward to working together!”
Living Beyond Breast Cancer
Jean Sachs
MSS/MLSP/CEO, LBBC
"Tigerlily Foundation is excited to see The Chrysalis Initiative grow into an amazing resource for Metastatic breast cancer patients. Their informative educational programs will help to serve the Early-stage and Metastatic women with patient education as well as providing Industry training for Nurse Navigators and Oncology Teams to help them understand the needs of those with disparities. We are looking forward to them being a force within the breast cancer community."
Tigerlily Foundation
Maimah Karmo
Founder/CEO, Tigerlilly
"What truly amazes me about Jamil within three years of her own diagnosis, she realized a need in the Black community to address the disparities and successfully executed The Chrysalis Initiative and Living Beyond Breast Cancer: Knowledge is Power Symposium for Black Women. I'm super proud of Jamil and looking forward to supporting her upcoming projects."
Roberta Albany
Founder/CEO, Cancer In The Know
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