by Andrea Lutz
Posted on March 24, 2014 at 7:25 PM
BOISE– There continues to be a need in Idaho to get women screened for breast cancer, and Race for the Cure is right around the corner in May.
Money raised from that event as well as others is given to Idaho hospitals and clinics for breast cancer screening and financial assistance to patients.
This year Susan G. Komen Idaho is dispersing $250,000 in grants on April 1.
Mission Manager Jody Weak said that money is used in any and every way possible.
“We are granting to various hospitals clinics other non profits that are helping people with free mammograms, diagnostics services, patient assistance,” Weak explains. “It will help people pay for things like utility bills, travel to and from treatment, things like that.”
According to Weak fundraising is down from the previous year, and that is a problem.
“Idaho is last in the nation for women getting screening mammograms,” said Weak. “It’s something that we are not proud of. It’s a number we really want to change.”
That alarming statistic is something Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center is among those trying to change as well.
Saint Al’s will get $52,000 of the Komen grant money, and $20,000 of it will go toward funding their mobile mammography buses.
“We are putting it to our greatest need,” explains Sharma Benard with the Saint Al’s Breast Cancer Center.
There are now two pink buses in their fleet. Several times a week they travel to rural areas of Idaho and Oregon bringing preventative care to women who might not otherwise get the chance to be screened.
“We want to catch it when it’s small so early detection is the best prevention,” said Benard. “They never say stop having mammograms. As you get older, your chances increase.”