Annual Walk Helps To Save Lives

Nearly 100 people pre-registered to take part in the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk hosted by Mahaska Health Partnership.

Nearly 100 people pre-registered to take part in the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk hosted by Mahaska Health Partnership.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Mahaska Health Partnership hosted its annual walk to help raise funds for women who may need help paying for a mammogram.

The annual event usually takes place on the square in Oskaloosa, but the pouring rain and wind drove the event into the comfort of Penn Central Mall over the noon hour.

Mahaska Health Partnership Marketing and Development Director Cathy Stahl said that the rain “was trying to dampen our spirits, but we’re not going to let it. We have a warm place for our walk, and Penn Central Mall was very generous.”

Even with the venue change, Stahl remained confident that many of the 100 pre registered participants would still attend.

The walk used to help generate money that went to Susan G. Komen, which in turn would flow back into the community through even larger grants. Over time, that program changed, and the focus then remained serving those in the community who needed financial assistance in obtaining breast cancer screenings through mammograms.

The funds raised are also used to help educate women and are used to help host events like the Women’s Breast Health Night that will once again be hosted at Gateway Church of the Nazarene on October 17th.

“Over 2000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Iowa alone every year,” said Stahl. “Raising awareness is our goal.”

Julie Hartke, Director of Radiology at Mahaska Health Partnership said that ultrasounds are another option used with the funds to help screen women for breast cancer.

Hartke said that right now they are only able to help “small handfuls, but we would love to be reaching more people.”

The challenges for those with financial restrictions is also being able to afford the doctors visits initially. “We know there are people in our own community that aren’t being screened. They know they don’t have insurance and they don’t even think about it. We want them to be screened too because there’s people depending on them. They would want cancer caught early so they could survive as well,” added Hartke.

Stahl says there is a forum on the MHP website for those seeking assistance, and the process of trying to reach those most in need continues to be refined.

Hartke talked about a young local woman who “had a low paying job. She could barely take off time from work to come for the mammogram, but we were able to assist her. Because of her income, she didn’t have insurance. We helped her get to a provider; helped her get to the mammogram; diagnosed the cancer for her.”

Unable to fund the biopsy, MHP partnered with Komen program and both picked up the cost of the procedure to get her established into a mechanism of care.

Those things enabled the young woman to survive the disease and continue working to support her family.

There are some openings remaining for the annual Women’s Breast Health Night on October 17th, if you want to learn more. Last year nearly 250 women attended the event, and Stahl believes this year could reach capacity.

You can sign up by following the link – https://www.mahaskahealth.org/projects/forms/breast_cancer_awareness_2017.php

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Posted by on Oct 8 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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