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Cure Your Fears — MCH's breast cancer awareness campaign
October 7, 2010

Since 2007, Madison County Hospital has been dedicated to making sure women understand the importance of early detection and have access to compassionate breast care.

 

After learning three years ago that Madison County had one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the state, the MCH Foundation began a $2 million initiative to offer new diagnostic and treatment options to the women of Madison County. 

 

So far, funds from the initiative have been used by the Foundation to assist MCH in renovating space for The Battelle Breast Care Center, adding an RN Breast Care Specialist, and bringing the latest technology for diagnosing and treating breast cancer to Madison County, including breast MRI, digital mammography, sentinel node, and stereotactic biopsy capabilities.

 

In support of MCH’s ongoing fight against breast cancer, the Columbus Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure awarded the MCH Foundation a $100,000 grant this year. The grant provides funds for Breast Care Clinics, which offer mammograms and breast exams at no out-of-pocket cost to patients regardless of their ability to pay.

 

“The Columbus Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is proud to support the local efforts of the MCH Foundation,” said Megan Knapke, Director of Community Outreach for Komen Columbus. “As an organization, our mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever, and we feel that assisting women in our community with access and financial barriers is vital.”

 

The grant is also funding a “Cure Your Fears” campaign featuring Madison County women who have survived breast cancer. The campaign stresses that early detection is essential to surviving breast cancer and asks women not to be afraid of getting screened.

 

“Through working on the breast cancer initiative these past few years, we’ve gotten to know breast cancer survivors in the county,” said Mona Flax, Executive Director of the MCH Foundation, and a breast cancer survivor herself. “When we started to develop the ‘Cure Your Fears’ campaign, we already had a list of women we could call upon for help.”

 

MCH sent letters to breast cancer survivors living in Madison County asking for volunteers to participate in “Cure Your Fears.” Also, a notice was sent out to local papers to catch any woman who may have not received a letter.

 

In the end, 11 women agreed to be the faces of “Cure Your Fears.” They have been featured in the hospital newsletter, brochures, posters, and advertisements. Each has a story about how breast cancer affected her life and the importance of early detection.

 

“Early detection is the key to survival and the Cure Your Fears campaign is a great way to reach women throughout Madison County with this life-saving message,” said Megan.


Overcoming the Odds

 

Before she was even diagnosed, Cheryl Anders’s life had already been touched by breast cancer.

 

“My sister Pam found out she had breast cancer when she was 21,” says Cheryl. “There wasn’t as much awareness in the 1980s as there is now, and she ended up losing her battle at the age of 32.”

 

Cheryl was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2006 after her physician did a variety of tests when she found a lump in her breast.

 

“At first, the diagnosis felt like a death sentence because of what happened to my sister,” says Cheryl. “But thanks to the support of my family, I knew I had choices my sister didn’t have.”

 

Cheryl underwent a bilateral mastectomy in December 2006 and then underwent breast reconstruction. Cheryl credits her family’s sense of humor with getting her through this overwhelming experience.

 

“I never wanted to feel like I was a victim,” says Cheryl. “Sometimes having a sense of humor makes trying times a bit easier and allows you to deal with things and move on.”

 

Cheryl has now been cancer-free for three and a half years and urges other women to stay up to date on their annual checkups.

 

“Early detection is so important,” says Cheryl. “Women should never underestimate the power of going for mammograms — it could save their lives.” 

 

Going the Extra Mile for You

 

Lorna Sanders was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram in 2000.

 

“After being diagnosed, I underwent a lumpectomy,” says Lorna. “Many times, women feel like they can’t be sick, and they worry about their families, but I found that this brought out the best in my family and friends. Everyone was so supportive, including the hospital staff.”

 

As a hospital employee and patient, Lorna has seen firsthand how the physicians and surgeons at MCH go out of their way to help women who are dealing with breast cancer.

 

“Everyone at MCH cares so much — it’s very hard to put into words,” says Lorna. “Whether he or she is a physician or technician, every one of these people cares.”  

 

In addition to chemotherapy, Lorna also completed six weeks of radiation and has been cancer-free since undergoing a year of treatment.

 

“Even though I am still cancer-free, I make sure I go for my regular checkups and follow-up appointments,” says Lorna. “It is vital that people know about and undergo these preventive screenings.”

 

Cure your fears — practicing early detection by receiving annual mammograms can save your life. To schedule a mammogram at MCH or to learn more about breast cancer services, call (740) 845-7000.

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210 North Main Street
London, Ohio 43140
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