KDMC forming new Breast Cancer Coalition

Published 5:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2001

Officials at King’s Daughters Medical Center are joining in thefight against a deadly disease that has taken the lives ofcountless women in the Southwest Mississippi area.

When a recent study revealed that breast cancer is a major areaof concern in Lincoln County, KDMC Director of Research andInfection Control Cathy Bridge began searching for ways she couldhelp women with the battle.

She sought and received a grant last year to helpunderprivileged women obtain a screening mammography through KDMC’sbreast cancer prevention program called “Check on Us, Too.” Herefforts, however, did not stop there.

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Bridge hopes to continue helping women in the area with theearly detection of breast cancer and the fight against breastcancer by forming the Southwest Mississippi Breast CancerCoalition.

“We need a core group of people to make decisions on how we cancontinue to educate women and figure out how to provide funds forscreening,” said Bridge.

“I’d like the group to be made up of breast cancer survivors,family and friends of breast cancer victims and any women who areinterested in helping others through this project.”

The first meeting for the coalition will be held at 6 p.m. May 2at the State Room. Women of all ages are encouraged and invited toattend the organizational meeting.

With high numbers of breast cancer victims and survivors in thearea, Bridge hopes a good number of people will see the need for acoalition.

“It’s a very prevalent form of cancer. Most people have beenaffected by it,” she said.

One of the purposes of the coalition will be to increaseawareness in areas, such as Lincoln, Lawrence and FranklinCounties.

Bridge also hopes the group will have fundraisers so more womencan receive financial help with breast screening tests.

The screenings through Check On Us, Too are for uninsured womenages 40-64 in Lincoln County that have not had a mammogram in thelast two years and have no symptoms of breast cancer.

Since the program began in January, 15 women have been able toreceive mammograms, which usually cost around $200.

Some of the fundraisers Bridge has planned is for a walk/runduring October, breast cancer awareness month, and the creation ofa memorial quilt.

The memorial quilt will be made of patches with the names ofbreast cancer survivors and victims embroidered in them, saidBridge.

Any women interested in joining in the fight against breastcancer, should call 835-9176 for more information.