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Holland Hospital making mammograms more accessible

Posted at 6:49 AM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 06:49:02-05

HOLLAND, Mich-- When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is key.

Paying for a mammogram to detect that cancer, should never be a barrier, but it is. That's why Holland Hospital is working to change that with their Breast Care Fund.

Holland artist, Carolyn Stich found out she had cancer about a year ago, and it might be surprising to hear this, but one of the first things that crossed her mind was that she felt blessed.

"You can't help but see all the love that comes forward and the compassion, Stich said. "I don't know why my brain works this way. But as soon as the first day of the mammogram, it dawned on me that I'm very lucky."

Now, she's blessing others less fortunate than her, with art, auctioning off her pieces every three months and providing that money to Holland Hospitals Breast Care Fund.

"I was thinking of all those women who, and there are a lot, who don't have insurance or who put their kids first, put their family first, and put everything first before themselves. What do they do when they feel that lump, cause we all kind of know what happens with our bodies," Stich said.

Alecia Jones, a breast nurse navigator at Holland Hospital says the fund exists thanks to private donations, location fundraising efforts, and grants.

The fund removes financial burdens that deter women from seeking necessary and in some cases life-saving breast care services, serving women who don't have insurance or who are extremely under insured.

"It's one of the best parts of my job when I can call these women and say you've qualified for the fund, let's get you scheduled for your mammogram, or your ultrasound, or you biopsy, or whatever it is, and you don't have to pay for it. And that's huge," Jones said.

Carolyn Stich underwent a lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation is now cancer free and is raising money for the Breast care fund with art.

"Breast cancer is one of those things that's so curable as long as you come forward," Stich said.

The Holland Breast Care fund has since helped hundreds of women. You do have to apply for the fund and is income based. If you plan to donate, 100 percent of what's donated stays local, helping women here in West Michigan in need.

For more information, click here.