Employees of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma are working to fight breast cancer. Every October during Breast Cancer Awareness month, employees raise funds to battle breast cancer. Headed by a Breast Cancer Awareness Committee, employees can participate in activities to donate to the worthwhile cause.
After several fundraisers and contests amongst employees, over $4,000 was raised last October. Each year, the committee determines where to donate proceeds. Past donations have gone to a tribal member, employee or their spouse who was battling breast cancer. Jami Rodgers, Breast Cancer Awareness Committee Chair, said there were no employees or their spouses or local tribal members battling breast cancer that they were aware of. This year, the committee decided to donate to Freeman Helping Friends Mammogram Fund with hopes of reaching more Native American women battling the disease.
“We hope this will enable more Native American women with or without insurance in this area to have the privilege of receiving a mammogram and allowing cosmetic prostheses to be purchased. The only stipulation on the funds we donated is that the recipient has to be Native American,” Rodgers said.
The Helping Friends Mammogram Fund provides mammogram screenings and screening education for women with limited financial resources. Assistance includes screening mammograms, diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds of the breast, and some post-surgical products, such as wigs or bras, for breast cancer patients who are uninsured or underinsured.
Friday, committee members presented a check for $4,111.19 to the Helping Friends Mammogram Fund. Members of the Quapaw Tribe Breast Cancer Awareness Committee are Jami Rodgers, Carol Feathers, Becky Mahurin, Sherrie Nida, Hanan Matthews, and Tiffany Rogers. Employee participation is almost always 100 percent.
“Our employees are caring and want to help others,” said committee member Carol Feathers.
Wendy Chrisenbery, supervisor of the Freeman Health System Wes and Gene Houser Women’s Pavilion, said money received from the Quapaw Tribe will help pay for any of the services provided by Helping Friends Mammogram Fund for qualified Native American applicants. Anyone who would like to apply for assistance can contact Chrisenbery at (417) 347-4512. Applications may also be picked up at the front desk of the Women's Pavilion.
Chrisenbery said, “I’d like to thank the employees of the Quapaw Tribe for their generous gift to the Freeman Helping Friends Mammogram Fund. There are many women in our community who would not be able to have breast health services without your contributions.”
(Press Release from Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma)
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