There are a lot of reasons not to get a mammogram. You’re busy. It’s uncomfortable. You haven’t reached your insurance deductible yet for the year.
But there’s a much bigger reason to get one: It could save your life.
One out of every eight women will develop breast cancer, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Ninety-nine percent of those who detect their cancer early will survive. But there is only a 26 percent survival rate for women whose cancer is not detected until it is in an advanced stage.
That’s why Pat Scheid of Monroeville, a breast cancer survivor, has made it her mission in life to eliminate at least one of the reasons why some women don’t get mammograms—they can’t afford it. To mark October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’d like to share Pat’s story.
The light bulb went off for Pat in 2001 when she was flipping through a quilting magazine and saw a contest that awarded matching funds to the reader who could raise the most money by making a quilt and then raffling it off. Pat picked one of the hardest quilting patterns—a double wedding ring—and got to work. Her raffle raised more than $4,000.
With that money, Pat made her first donation to Fisher-Titus Medical Center, bringing about the formation of the Fisher-Titus Mammography Fund, which provides mammogram screenings for uninsured and under-insured women in the community. In addition, the program may include travel expenses for women in Fisher-Titus Medical Center’s service area to and from the mammography appointment if needed and the radiologist fee for reading the mammogram.
Pat has supported the fund every year since through her quilt-making and fundraising project, raising thousands of dollars for the local fund.
These days, though, Pat doesn’t quilt alone. She works with a group of women from two local churches. This year, the quilt they’re making required an estimated 281 hours of quilting. “You become like family because you work together all the time,” Pat says.
The quilt being raffled off this year is one of the most unusual the group has done. “It's very bright,” Pat says. “I found a material that looks like a big bouquet of fall flowers and there are little gold flecks. In the center of it is an Ohio star pattern.”
The point of it all, says Pat, is to raise money for the Fisher-Titus Mammography Fund and to raise awareness. After being cancer-free for almost 25 years, Pat’s breast cancer returned in 2014. Once again, she battled and has now been cancer-free for more than two years.
“I have met ladies who say, ‘You know what? I got a mammogram through the Mammography Fund,’” Pat says. “That's when I really feel like I've accomplished something because it's somebody who wouldn't have gone. That makes me feel good to be helpful.”
Raffle tickets are a $1 donation each or six tickets for a $5 donation. The drawing will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 29; the winner need not be present. Tickets are available at various businesses in Huron County, including the Fisher-Titus Patient Pavilion Information Desk. Call Pat Scheid at 419-465-2683 for more information.
Thanks to the funds raised for the Fisher-Titus Mammography Fund by community members like Pat and to a generous grant from the Northwest Ohio Affiliate of The Susan G. Komen Fund for the Cure, Fisher-Titus provided free screenings to 81 area women during 2015.
To learn more about the Fisher-Titus Medical Center Mammography Fund, call our Financial Services at 419-668-8101, ext. 6278 or 800-589-3862, ext. 6278. The financial counselors work with applicants to determine eligibility and possible access to other resources for women.