BWMH recognizing breast cancer awareness

Published 8:46 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Since the first National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was celebrated in October 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older, and breast cancer deaths have declined.

Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital is hoping to help continue that trend as they join facilities throughout the nation in celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.

“We have a number of activities going on during the month designed to increase public awareness of breast cancer, to help raise funds for breast cancer research, and to encourage more women to make an annual mammogram a part of their routine,” Mike Marshall, hospital administrator and CEO said.

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Celebration of the month-long event actually began in September when the hospital’s Relay for Life Team began sponsoring their annual Denim Days Against Breast Cancer campaign. For five consecutive Fridays, employees of the facility can purchase a special sticker that allows them to wear their jeans to work. The group has raised over $1,000 annually with this event with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

The BWWMH Auxiliary also placed their collection bins for pink Yoplait yogurt tops throughout the facility. The “Save Lids to Save Lives” campaign is sponsored annually by General Mills, which will donate a dime to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to help fund research for each of the specially marked lids that are returned to them by December 31. “We’ve managed to donate several hundred dollars over the past few years through this campaign,” said Brenda Parr, Auxiliary President. “It’s a simple, easy way that people can help make a difference in the lives of others by simply recycling something they normally discard.”

Rounding out the month’s events is a special project initiated by the BWWMH Radiology Department. Employees Anne Ratliff and Sheila Durden have gathered donations from area businesses that will allow patients who have a mammogram in October to receive several surprises. These patients will also be entered into a drawing for a basket filled with items donated by area businesses. One basket will be given away each week in October.

Donating businesses include Kafe Buzz/Pamper Me Perfect, The Hair Hut, Lemon Grass, The Mustard Seed, Flowers by Maison de Briques, The Gold Mine, Holiday Cleaners, Radio Shack, El Ranchero Loco, Food World, Kora’s Place, Newton Tire, Wal-Mart, Dominos Pizza, Rosie’s Diner, Smokin’ Jacks, Napoleon’s, Parr Chevron, KFC and the Cancer Care Center of Demopolis.

“We appreciate these businesses so much,” said Ratliff, who is a Registered Mammography Technician. “Through their generosity, we are better able to encourage more women over the age of 40 to take advantage of the early detection that annual screening mammograms can provide.”