Tuesday, October 08, 2013 7:58 AM
Businesses help breast cancer cause
Funds raised for Mother's Day Mammograms
By Lisa Boykin Batts | Times Life Editor
Mother’s Day Mammograms will get a boost this October from consumers up and down the East Coast.
Vick Farms has purchased 24,000 pink cartons that will be filled with sweet potatoes and sold to retail customers who signed up for the promotion during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
"Everybody has been very accepting,” said Charlotte Vick, partner and director of sales and marketing for Vick Farms.
A percentage of all sweet potatoes sold in those cartons will be donated to the program that provides mammograms for women who do not have insurance and could not afford them otherwise.
Vick said she chose WilMed Healthcare Foundation’s signature project as the recipient of their donation because she wanted the money to stay local and to help local residents.
With each shipment, Vick Farms will include a pamphlet to use in store displays that tells about Mother’s Day Mammograms. Vick hopes other organizations will see the information and become inspired to start similar programs in their towns.
Robin Williams, manager of the Foundation, is thrilled to have the support of the Vick family for this project and in other parts of the Foundation. Vick is a Foundation advocate, and her father, Jerome, is a Foundation board member.
Vick Farms is one of many groups in the county helping out this month, holding special events to raise money for breast cancer programs through the volunteer arm of the Foundation, The Pink Ladies.
During October, a number of restaurants will be donating a portion of their meal receipts on certain days, and businesses will be offering special services.
This week, 130 women will receive mammograms at Outpatient Imaging Center of Wilson Medical Center through the program, and Pink Ladies volunteers will be on hand to greet the women who called in and have been approved and registered. In previous years, the mammograms have been given in May to coincide with Mother’s Day, but starting this year, the free mammograms will be given in October.
Since the program started in 2003, more than 1,200 mammograms have been administered to screen women for breast cancer. Seven have been diagnosed.
Women who are diagnosed through Mother’s Day Mammograms receive not only complementary medical treatment from the Wilson community but also get assistance in many forms from the Pink Ladies, who help with bills and often deliver food to patients.
New to the program this year, Mother’s Day Mammograms is also offering diagnostic testing to uninsured women who are having breast problems. Since the new service was started in February, 15 women with breast lumps have been screened. All were fine, Williams said. The program would have paid for any follow-up care they needed, she added.
Since the Mother’s Day Mammograms started, Williams estimates the Pink Ladies have given back more than $500,000 in care and educational materials to the Wilson community.
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