Ever wonder how your donation dollars help? Where does the money go and who does it directly help? Komen Columbus has a proud tradition of partnering with many organizations to help men and women who are underserved and uninsured in our 30-county service area. This year alone, we granted nearly $2 million to support 34 programs in Central and Southeastern Ohio communities. This milestone moment would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors, Race participants and all those people who give to Komen Columbus. For the next few weeks, we will feature our grantees so you can see and read how your dollars are making an impact.
Guest Writer: Rebecca Hudson
Becky Dangelo, Breast Health Navigator at Knox County Community Hospital, has heard all the excuses for avoiding having a mammogram. At the top of that list is the cost involved with the service, especially when many of women Becky spoke to were uninsured or underinsured. That’s why, when attending a grant-writing workshop in 2007, she saw an opportunity to partner with Komen Columbus.
Becky wrote a letter asking to be considered for a grant and her persistence paid off – in 2009 the Knox County Community Hospital received a grant to support the Mother, Daughter, Sister and Friends Project and has received Komen funding ever since.
The comprehensive project serves uninsured or underinsured Knox County residents who are 40 years of age or younger, or women under age 40 with an area of concern or suspicious breast mass.
Program benefits (at no cost for those who qualify) include:
- Screening mammograms for uninsured/underinsured
- Diagnostic exams including diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs and biopsies
- Genetic testing
- Services to help navigate an often complex health care system and services
- Surgical consults
- Surgical bras
- Survivorship assistance including:
Prosthesis, lymphedema evaluation and treatment, lymphoma garments, nutritional counseling, medication assistance and massage therapy
- Transportation support
- Tai Chi classes
To date, 73 women have been served, including: 10 who needed biopsies and of whom two who were diagnosed with breast cancer; a 34-year-old with metastasis to the lymph nodes; and numerous recipients of survivorship services.
“Without this program, these women would not have had mammograms and, therefore, abnormalities would not have been identified,” Becky said. “In turn, diagnostic and clinical evaluations would not be performed preventing early-stage diagnosis and metastasis.”
One particular uninsured woman, (who for purposes of privacy will be referred to as Mrs. B), received a free mammogram from the program. Results indicated an abnormality, which led to further diagnostic tests. The biopsy came back benign.
Mrs. B. and her husband, who was unemployed, were so appreciative of the program’s services, that they gave Becky a $100 check for Komen Columbus.
“I told them that, based on their financial situation, the donation was too generous and unnecessary,” Becky remembered, describing the experience as emotional. “They were adamant that I accept the check because it was so important that they give back for all the program did to help throughout her journey.”
Mrs. B’s appreciation did not end with the donation. A month later she sent Becky a beautiful vase with a pink rose that included a note expressing thanks for the care she received.
According to Becky, as a result of the partnership with Komen Columbus, the community has begun sending donations to the affiliate.
“Sharing the numerous services provided by the Komen grant is essential for our community. This grant educates so many people and brings awareness of the importance of ongoing donations that will help continue to provide these important services.”