Pink was “in” last month. Ribbons, T-shirts and even newspapers sported the color, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. For many, the whole idea is tucked away until next year. That’s not the case with the folks at Springfield Baptist Church.
On Thursday, October 25, it was standing room only. Hosted by Helena Bell, affectionately called Ma Bell, Minister Cathy Grady and Minister Roseberry, over 200 people from the Conyers area learned current information about this menacing disease.
Bell, a 15 year breast cancer survivor herself, emphasized the urgency for early detection. “There are over 200,000 new cases each year: women and men. There are so many resources out there to help you fight.” Bell shared how people who are newly diagnosed can receive support from an entire care team, “You aren’t alone. You may have a surgeon, oncologist, and social worker. That’s besides your church and family.”
Kay Goff, facilitator at Newton General’s Women’s Center, spoke about her journey. It wasn’t’ long after she began volunteering at the center that she was diagnosed. She shared about how her faith, family, friends and care team helped her to become a survivor. Now, nine years later, she manages the Hope Boutique, a free resource for those who have been newly diagnosed. Goff works with other support groups across Georgia. Most of her work, however, takes place in the center. “Sometimes, I’m the first one to see them after they’ve lost their hair and their breasts. We educate them, support them and counsel them.”
Goff shared about a woman who had visited lately. “This mom was 36 and she had her six year old child with her. Her little girl asked, ‘Is my mommy going to die?’” Goff replied, “I don’t know.” Then, Goff asked the child if she had a superhero. The little girl replied, “Superman.” Goff said, “Well, we’re going to give your mommy superhero medicine. You might come home one and day that medicine will blow the hair right off her head!”
The audience laughed.
Jeremy Johnson, whose mother passed away in 2005 from breast cancer, spoke about how his foundation, Cathy’s Help, uses proceeds from motorcycle and car shows to raise money for those who cannot the financial burden to fight breast cancer. “We pay light bills, car payments, whatever is needed. We have no overhead.” During the program, Johnson gave coupons for four free mammograms. He talked about the people who have been helped, “I may have lost my mother, but I have gained thousands of mothers to watch over me.”
The evening ended with a team leading prayers over caregivers, those who were grieving, family members, those who were healing and those who had been newly diagnosed.
For more information on the Cathy’s Help foundation, go to www.cathyshelp.com or www.cathyshelp.blogspot.com
Rockdale Medical Center is offering mammograms at a discounted rate of $75, until the end of the year. More information can be obtained by calling Rockdale Medical at 770-918-3000.
The Kimberley Chance Atkins Foundation marks its second year of the voucher program for uninsured women in need of a mammogram, in partnership with the Rockdale County Public Health Department and Rockdale Medical Center. For more information on the mammogram voucher program, contact the Rockdale County Public Health Department at 770-785-4345, located 985 Taylor Street. Or go to gnrhealth.com/locations/rockdale/health-center.
Helping Hands clinic for the uninsured also offered mammogram vouchers for low-income patients with proof of residency and income at the Helping Hands clinic at 1733 Lake Rockaway Road. For more information, contact 770-860-9545 or go to http://helpinghandsoutreach.org.