| We Care Think Pink and the Susan G. Komen Race (or Sleep-in) for the Cure |
BREAST CANCER AFFECTS NEARLY one in eight women at some point during their lifetime. However, with proper preventive care, such as annual mammograms, early detection is much more likely; as with all cancers, early detection results in a more favorable prog-nosis. These diagnostic screenings are usually expensive, and some women may go without them simply because of the cost. High medical costs are difficult to manage for everyone, but especially difficult for people without health insurance or sufficient income. Fortunately, there are available options for help right here in our region. We Care Project Think Pink is making a huge difference for women and families all over the greater Polk County and Hillsborough area.
We Care Project Think Pink is a nonprofit organization, which provides low-cost and free mammogram screenings, as well as diagnostic screenings, biopsies, and minimally invasive procedures for uninsured women between the ages of 40 and 49. It even helps symptomatic men and women who have a high incidence of breast cancer in their family health history. To qualify for care, you must “have a family income that does not exceed 300% of the Federal Poverty Income Levels,” be uninsured, and live in Central Florida. We Care Think Pink started in 2008 and operates on funding from Florida Suncoast Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. This organization is the only program of its kind in our area, and it does not run off corporate Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation funding. Members of the working public who do not qualify for Medicare because they earn too much at their jobs, but not enough to live and purchase health insurance, benefit the most from these kind of nonprofit organizations.
Project leader Eva Hawkins explains that the Florida Suncoast Affiliate funds about five different programs in Central Florida, including the ones in Polk and Hillsborough counties. The funding is generated solely by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure races. On January 24, 2015, in Lakeland at TigerTown Stadium, you can do your part in helping raise money for this invaluable organization. Participants will raise funds and awareness for breast cancer, have fun running (or walking) in a race, and receive a t-shirt. Hawkins explains, “Many people think just because they are not a runner that they cannot come to the race and help out. It is not a competitive race — you can jog, walk, or even stroll.” Another option for people wanting to donate and raise awareness for breast cancer requires even less effort: they can participate in the Susan G. Komen Sleep-in for the Cure. Those interested can visit the Susan G. Komen Sleep-in for the Cure website and register online; you’ll get a t-shirt and help fund local organizations just like Think Pink.
We Care Project Think Pink begins its service with annual screening and diagnostic mammograms, and if an abnormality is discovered, extends care to provide breast ultrasounds, biopsies, and pathology reports — all for free. For example, Hawkins recalls one case where a woman received annual mammograms thanks to We Care Project Think Pink and her tests always came back negative. After several years, however, an abnormality came back on her test. Fortunately, this organization can continue to help her through her battle with cancer. By supporting the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Lakeland, participants are helping to raise funds that literally save lives every day through preventive screening and treatment for those who cannot afford it. Support a cause that save lives by registering today!
story by JULIE GMITTER