Fighting Cancer in Brevard County
We all know someone who has had cancer or know someone who has been impacted by it. We lost another wonderful woman in our community to this disease in only 14 months, but today I want to remind you that cancer will never have the last word.
Services were held last week for Maria Balda, a faith filled, 64 year old mother, grandmother, and member of a philanthropic organization that celebrates, educates, and motivates women to achieve their highest aspirations. Something particularly unique regarding Maria’s battle with cancer was that her daughter, Kathy, was also engaged in the same battle. Maria and Kathy shared a lifetime of experiences, but there are some experiences like surgery, chemo, and radiation, that mothers and daughters should never have to share.
When Kathy underwent treatment last year for breast cancer, some friends gathered with her at the hospital in a show of support. That day, we joked that the caption for the photo below should read, “Bosom Buddies”. In retrospect, there is truth behind the humor. Good friends are there in the tough times, but good friends should also challenge one another to take care of themselves and have yearly screenings. The fact that a mammogram can cost approximately $135 - $190, left me wondering, “What options are available to women who can’t afford this life saving exam”?
To answer that question, I recently, spoke with Amy Young, President and CEO of “Yes to Mammograms”, a local organization that provides mammograms for women in need in Brevard County. Even though she never had breast cancer, she is a 3-time cancer survivor herself, with work experience in the hospital’s oncology department. Mrs. Young started Yes to Mammograms using her own resources after witnessing what cancer patients and their families must go through. Last year, Yes to Mammograms provided 100 mammograms for women in Brevard County who would otherwise have to wait and hope for another source of help.
Simply wishing for an end to cancer isn’t enough; we have to do more. Maria’s family is doing more by supporting the work of the American Cancer Society, and you can make a donation in memory of her. You can do more by getting screened for cancer and encouraging your family and friends to do the same. If you or someone you know is in need of a mammogram, contact Yes, to Mammograms for help or to support the work of this local organization.
I write this post to honor Maria Balda and those who have lost their battle with cancer. I also write to honor women like Kathy who continue to fight with courage and grace. I hope to raise awareness, to help women in need, and to do what I can to make sure that cancer never gets the last word.