Monday, September 28, 2009

"Save the TaTas!"

It is almost that time of the year again (October is breast cancer awareness month), and that was just one of a couple slogans that our lady golfers were wearing today as they hit the links to raise money for breast cancer. It was a beauuuuutiful day, 70 degrees and sunny, in late September-- couldn't ask for better weather! This is the 13th year for the tournament, and my eighth year as a committee member.

The fund raises money for women here in our community who need financial help with diagnostic mammography expenses. A few years ago our breast care clinic identified this as a problem; they were seeing a growing number of women who had found a lump or abnormality on their own, or had had a screening mammogram that showed something questionable. But these women didn't have insurance or the savings to continue on with the testing to find out if their problem was cancerous or not.

Many of these women would tell the breast care clinic staff that they couldn't schedule ongoing tests because they just simply couldn't afford them, or that they would have to wait to have further testing until they had the money saved up to pay for it. Imagine being in that situation - you know you have what could potentially be cancer, but that it will be three, four or five thousand dollars for further tests to determine if it is something that may be life threatening. I had to have diagnostic testing a couple of years ago, and it was scary enough just waiting the brief amount of time that I did, because I was lucky to have insurance and finances to pay for my testing.

So this fund serves as a stopgap for women needing this financial assistance; they can get the tests that they need and know that they don't have to worry about paying all of the balance of their bill on their own. The number of uninsured just keeps growing, and so does the need for funds. Each year we profile a woman to help our golfers and sponsors see that they are helping real women, right here in the Ozarks. This year's story was a 33-year-old woman, Amy, who had left a company to start her own graphic design business and didn't have health insurance yet. She found a lump, and was scared to death. She learned about the fund from a friend, and was thrilled to let us share her story about how helpful it was to know that she didn't have to worry about the financial end of things while she was worrying about her health. Luckily her tumor was benign, and had a happy ending.

Many of our golfers in today's tournament have played with us for several years, and love to take part in an all-ladies tournament, and support breast cancer here in our area. And I love to see all of the great golf attire, especially all of the PINK! Being a woman and a clothes horse, all the outfits make me want to take up golf just so I can wear the clothes - after eight years of planning, I still don't know to play! Oh well, I enjoy being on the periphery, and helping to be a part of raising funds for a great cause- actually learning to play golf may have to wait until I have more time!

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