Women who are at high risk of breast cancer know that detecting cancer early with a mammogram may help save their life.
But in these economic times, where jobs are scarce, it may be almost impossible for some women to afford the testing they need.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure has teamed with Jupiter Medical Center to help insure that women who really need help, get it.
In January of 2009 Jessie Perez got a prescription for a mammogram, but she was unemployed, so she put it off. But breast cancer doesn’t wait for a convenient time. Finally, in April, Jessie went to Jupiter Medical Center and had a mammogram.
Jessie Perez says, “I got a letter while I was up North asking me to come back in for further diagnostic testing.”
More mammograms…a biopsy…and then… she found out she had cancer.
“I was just devastated, says Jesse, I had no health insurance and I’m thinking to myself what am I gonna do now?”
That’s when she met Kathy Marinak and oncology care specialist at , Jupiter Medical Center, who says, “We got involved with Komen because we had a significant number of individuals who were uninsured, very young and at high risk for developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer. It was difficult for us to screen them. They needed diagnostic screening and we had no funds available.”
With a grant from Komen for the Cure, Jupiter Medical Center helps uninsured women get the breast care they need. For Jessie it helped pay for a double mastectomy.
Jessie says, “I’m a very proud person so I don’t like to accept charity, unfortunately, but given the circumstances I didn’t have much of a choice.”
So now Jessie wants other women to know her story. “I think a lot of women don’t know that they have these services available to them, for free.”
And how’s Jessie now? "I feel wonderful…especially now that I’m working!"