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OP-ED: LIVING4LOVE Celebrate Ovarian and Breast Cancer Awareness Months with Gift of Life

Each September and October during Ovarian and Breast Cancer Awareness Months, Gift of Life honors women who have bravely fought (or are still fighting) cancer with “pink n’ teal initiatives” that raise awareness and support its Women’s Health & Breast Cancer Program.

This year Gift of Life is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of its Julie Richardson Procter 5K Ribbon Run for Ovarian and Breast Cancer. Due to the pandemic, Southeast Texans are being asked to join in support of our month-long festivities by hosting a virtual walk in their neighborhoods or local parks, conducting social media fundraisers and encouraging Pink Outs at schools, businesses and churches.

“Cancer will not stop for COVID-19, so we must continue fighting,” said Gift of Life Chair Regina Rogers. “Much-needed funding from these activities will ensure that local women in need still receive Gift of Life’s free lifesaving breast health services. This year’s theme, LIVING4LOVE captures the essence of our existence, which is all about compassion, concern for others and love.

“It was Julie’s wish that women be educated on the signs of ovarian cancer,” said Patti McSpadden, sister-in-law of Procter, who passed away from ovarian cancer. “Had she been aware of the signs, her cancer could have been treated at an earlier stage, thus giving her a better chance of survival. Through Gift of Life, we are making early detection possible.”

Each year, Gift of Life provides thousands of Southeast Texans with critical information about ovarian cancer and its symptoms and to help call attention to the need for early diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Additionally, the organization’s Women’s Breast Health and Cancer Prevention Program annually makes available more than 2,100 free screening mammograms and nearly 700 diagnostic procedures, as well as patient navigation with access to treatment for women who cannot afford health insurance or who have high deductibles.

“I knew I needed to get screened, but didn’t have insurance,” said a Gift of Life breast cancer survivor. “The organization’s staff really care and they walked with me every step of the way as I battled breast cancer. It was a miracle that I was able to get this mammogram, and I know it saved my life.”

In addition to virtual activities that will occur in October are other exciting events being planned throughout the year and include a breast cancer celebration at Philpott Ford.

“The need for Gift of Life’s services have dramatically increased this year because of high unemployment rates and loss of health insurance so this year’s fundraising efforts are more critical than ever,” said Gift of Life Executive Director Norma Sampson. “We are so grateful for the continued support from our sponsors and donors who are helping us make our community a healthier place in which to live.”

 

For additional information, to provide a sponsorship or make a donation, please contact Gift of Life at 409.833.3663, info@giftoflifebmt.org or visit giftoflifebmt.org.