Author of “Don’t Waste My Cancer” Gayela Bynum, Founder and Chair of We Will Survive Cancer moved to the DC Metro area in the early 1980’s from California after having worked for the US Navy. Her early years in Washington began a longstanding and ongoing career with the federal government. She left the government for a couple of years to arrange fundraising events on Capitol Hill. In 1990, she founded and ran a boutique handbag and accessories business that focused on sales in the early years of the Internet. Additionally, Gayela served on the boards of the National Press Club from 2001-2009; Summer Opera Theater, and, currently serves on the Board of Opera Camerata of Washington. In 2009, “We Will Survive Cancer,” www.wewillsurvivecancer.org a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization was founded by Gayela and friends, who were inspired by the warrior spirit of Michelle Bynum. The organization assists patients and their families affected by cancer.
Michelle made WWSC aware that not all families affected by cancer are equal. Michelle had a strong support system of family and friends, who were there for her every need, but she found that other young women often lacked the same support. In recognizing this lack of support, WWSC took up the charge to assist families who often lack emotional support and financial resources to manage their everyday needs. Gayela was classically trained in piano, violin, voice and dance and majored in art and art history. She attended the University of Oklahoma and transferred to the University of Arkansas where she earned her BA degree. Gayela reads, sews, designs and paints in her spare time. She is a member of Alpha Phi Fraternity and Daughters of the American Revolution. Gayela has two sons, William Blaine, and Bradley Word Bynum, and a precocious grandson, Reid Tull Bynum. Her extended family includes, Christie Ingram, Michelle’s parents, LaWann and Frank Tull, Michelle’s sister, Tiffany Tull Barber, husband Rodney and children Bryce and Kendall.