All the fun we have, and all the funds we raise, are ultimately about the women we help. Here are some of their stories. Read with their thanks and ours for your support of what we are trying to do.
It’s what all breast cancer survivors want: peace of mind – ongoing assurance that everything is still OK. But for Debra Shavers of Canton, MS, that reassurance was more than she could afford.
Diagnosed and successfully treated for breast cancer at age 44 in 2006, Debra skipped two years’ of follow-up mammograms because without insurance, she just couldn’t pay for it.
"I was at my doctor’s office for a six-month checkup and they saw that I hadn’t had a mammogram," Debra says. "They told me I needed to get one, and I said it was too expensive and I couldn’t afford it."
That’s when her doctor told her about fund for the girls. “She said there are funds available for this, and talk to the front desk when you leave.” Debra says her physician’s office set up the appointment and she never had to do anything else. "It was an easy process," she said.
And, finally, she got the peace of mind that comes from a good mammogram. Her results were good.
"There are a lot of people like me who don’t have insurance and can’t afford mammograms," says Debra. "I think fund for the girls is awesome. It might save someone’s life."
The first blow came when Alice Boyanton’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The second blow came when her mother’s doctor said Alice needed to get a mammogram, and she knew she couldn’t afford it.
"I thought, oh, my God! How can I do this?" says Alice. A Yazoo City resident, Alice is raising her grandson and money is tight. Without insurance to cover the mammogram, Alice sent prayers Heavenward, asking for help. The stress was incredible.
Unbeknownst to Alice, God had an answer already planned with fund for the girls. "I was over at my sister’s house watching TV, when I saw Dr. Larkin Carter come on WLBT talking about the fund. I thought, 'Oh, wow! God has answered my prayers!' I wrote the number down and called immediately. It was a godsend."
For Alice, the news has been good. She’s already had her mammogram at Baptist, and everything checked out fine. "It was an immediate weight lifted off my shoulders," she said.
"You all were a blessing to me," Alice says. "People should give and get involved in fund for the girls, because for people who don’t have insurance and can’t pay, what are they going to do?"
"And I want to help, too," continues Alice. "I’ll volunteer my time, sell t-shirts on the corner…anything I can. My sister said she wants to help, too."
When money is tight, there are some things that you just have to let go. For Benita Kidd of Jackson, one of those things was breast care. With a family history of breast cancer, she knew that she needed to be checked, but with no insurance, she didn’t have the financial resources. At age 41, she’d never had a mammogram, and had no thought of trying to get one.
"I was watching WLBT at noon one day, and I saw one of Baptist’s doctors talking about people not getting the breast services they need because they couldn't afford it, and that Baptist had a fund to pay for this," she said. "He gave a telephone number to call, and on a whim I picked up the phone and called."
It’s a good thing she did.
The Navigator at the Center for Breast Health helped Benita schedule her first mammogram—during which the doctor saw a suspicious area on her left breast. One week later, Benita underwent a biopsy.
"Because of my faith, I believed everything would be OK," said Benita. "But still, not knowing was hard."
The thing that wasn’t hard was finding a way to pay. fund for the girls covered not only her mammogram, but the biopsy as well. And Benita never had to wait or fill out a single form.
The biopsy was good news, too. "It was a huge relief to find out the biopsy was OK," Benita said.
"People who are financially able to help others should give to fund for the girls because you never know who it’s going to help," adds Benita. "I'm an only child and I lost my mom unexpectedly this year, and I had to take over her house. And in the midst of that, I needed to do this for myself, but I didn’t have the financial resources. I thank God for fund for the girls."