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WAKE FOREST — Rex Healthcare and The Wake Weekly Family of Community Newspapers share a love of the area, the residents and their well-being. To prove it, just like the paper does each week, Rex Healthcare is coming to you.
The Wake Weekly has teamed with the Rex Mobile Mammography Unit and the Rex Healthcare Foundation for the initiative “Show you care, be aware.” In October, women will have three chances for mammograms in each of The Wake Weekly’s coverage areas.
They are currently slated for Faith Baptist Church in Youngsville Oct. 1, Rolesville town hall Oct. 4 and Over the Falls Deli in Wake Forest Oct. 15. Women will have to make an appointment to participate, but everyone can attend for vendors, giveaways and other activities.
“We just want to bless these ladies for coming out,” said Wake Weekly Advertising Director Kathleen Jackson.
The concept for the partnership was brainstormed by Jackson, a breast cancer survivor, who found solace at Rex after she had to leave her regular doctor in Florida.
Knowing how much early detection helped save her life, as well as her sister’s and the lives of countless other women all over the world, Jackson wanted to help others have the same opportunity to get screened.
Wendy Avery, the Mobile Mammography Coordinator, said many counties don’t have funding to have screenings available for low-income residents. Or people choose not to go because of lack of transportation, insurance or even time to get it done. But it’s something they’d like to change.
Mobile units go where the need is, whether to churches, businesses, organizations or other gatherings. Last year the mobile unit offered 5,000 screenings in a 17-county radius. Of those, 713 were through community partnerships like this one.
“We are grateful whenever a news outlet offers to help us to spread the message of early detection,” said Amy Daniels, executive director of the Rex Healthcare Foundation, “especially when there is a passion behind it.”
Wanting to ensure all women can get care, the Rex Mammography Assistance program is geared for medically uninsured women in need of a screening mammogram through the Rex Mobile Coach and/or Diagnostic imaging through Rex Breast Care Center and Rex Healthcare of Wakefield. Women are treated regardless of what county they live in, age or ethnicity.
In 2012, the Rex Mammography Assistance screened 2,100 people and offered 700 diagnostic mammograms, including breast ultrasounds, at Rex Breast Center or Rex of Wakefield. Of those, 36 were referred to a Rex surgical specialist for additional care and 13 were diagnosed and treated for breast cancer — all free of charge.
“No matter what, regardless of the ability to pay, we will help them with the steps and provide services,” said Daniels. “Screening doesn’t help if you do not go through the process.”
In addition to offering screenings to the community, The Wake Weekly wants to take the initiative a step further by expanding it to include fundraising to give back to the Rex Foundation.
The kickoff will take place in September at the paper’s third annual Best of the Best banquet and will include a fundraising subscription drive and silent auction.
“Thousands of women go through breast cancer, but I just happen to be in a job where I can do something about it,” Jackson said.
She considers the project making lemonade out of lemons while helping the hospital and other women.
Though Breast Cancer Awareness is in October, members at Rex Healthcare and the foundation focus on getting the word out every day of the year.
“For six days a week, we are spreading the word through face-to-face interaction and education,” Daniels said. “It’s important enough to drive to them.
“Our community does matter. If you don’t want to come to us, we’ll go to you.”
Rex Mobile Mammography is funded by Revlon, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, the Rex Hospital Open and the Rex Healthcare Foundation. To help fund the foundation, mobile unit and other initiatives, Rex holds the Rex Open, going on next week at TPC Wakefield Plantation golf club to raise funds for the Rex heart and vascular program, plus Pink on the Links. For more information about Rex or to get screened before October, visit rexhealth.com.
Save the Dates!
In partnership with The Wake Weekly, the Rex Mobile Mammography Unit will be at the following locales in October:
•Oct. 1: Faith Baptist Church, 249 Holden Road, Youngsville
•Oct. 4: Rolesville town hall, 502 Southtown Circle, Rolesville
•Oct. 15: Over the Falls Deli, 419 Brooks St., Wake Forest
Watch for sign-ups later this summer.
The Wake Weekly is offering businesses a chance to participate in the events through vendors and goodie bag offerings, free of charge. For more information, call Wake Weekly Advertising Director Kathleen Jackson at 919-556-3182.