One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and many more will be impacted through a coworker, friend or loved one. But luckily, Lansing area community members don’t have to face these problems alone. Komen Mid-Michigan and Pink Impact Breast Care at Michigan State University (MSU) have teamed up to provide essential screening and diagnostic services to women and men who otherwise could not afford it.
Pink Impact Breast Care at MSU makes it easy to get the care and attention needed. The team is invested in each patient and has personal reasons to attack this life-changing disease head on.
“Everyone that is on the team here leading this initiative has personal reasons for supporting this cause,” said Jill Vondrasek, marketing and communications director for the College of Nursing at MSU. “My husband’s mother carried the BRCA gene that can be passed down to children and grandchildren and she took that very personally. That is a lot of why I do what I do, because I saw what it could do to a family.”
Pink Impact Breast Care at MSU is funded through a grant provided by Komen Mid-Michigan. Komen Mid-Michigan is a local nonprofit organization that is dedicated to combating breast cancer. A large percentage of the organization’s proceeds go toward programs and funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education, screenings, diagnostics and survivorship programs for underserved men and women in mid-Michigan.
“We are trying to get the word out that women don’t have to go through this alone, or not get the care they need. That is what Komen is doing too,” Vondrasek said. “They do events and fundraising to raise money and the local dollars raised stay in the community and go to causes like ours through grants and support. I know the team works tirelessly fighting for the cure and we’re together in that.”
Pink Impact Breast Care at MSU received the grant in April 2016 from Komen Mid-Michigan and has already made quite an impact in the community. They have cared for 129 new patients, provided 279 diagnostic tests and provided 123 follow-up appointments, allowing men and women in the area to receive the care they need without sacrificing care due to cost.
“I think it is so important to seek care and work to catch this early. Through the grant, we have seen women that have had a lump but may not be able to afford the care needed. They don’t know what to do or where to go and they will ignore it. By the time they can go and get the testing they need, it may make the treatment more difficult,” Vondrasek said.
Both Pink Impact Breast Care at MSU and Komen Mid-Michigan advocate for the cause and encourage women to be diligent in knowing their bodies and conducting monthly self-exams. Both organizations also encourage women and men that may feel they need additional testing to reach out for help and find options that work for them.
Pink Impact Breast Care at MSU is currently accepting new patients. Call (517) 267-2460 to find out if you qualify. For more information, email Pink.Impact@hc.msu.edu or visit Pink Impact Breast Care at MSU on Facebook.