Baptist Health Foundation works to provide free mammograms

October 19, 2020

Mask Up with the Mahr Initiative to raise funds for cancer patients in need.

MADISONVILLE, Kentucky – Baptist Health Madisonville Foundation is aiming to paint the town pink during their Mask Up with the Mahr Initiative to raise funds for cancer patients in need.

For every donation made to the Merle M. Mahr Cancer Center during the month of October, donors get a custom, hot pink mask stamped with the Mahr Center logo. The Foundation encourages recipients to wear these masks throughout the month of October to generate increased awareness for a disease that is estimated to impact 276,480 women and 2,620 men this year.

With a goal of 1,000 participants in the fundraiser, the Foundation would be able to support free mammogram screening for 33 patients which can detect abnormalities early and result in improved outcomes.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to both promote awareness for screening and raise funds for women in our local community,” said Foundation Development Manager Cameron Edwards. “Obviously, raising support has some additional challenges right now so it was our hope that this initiative might serve multiple purposes in both generating support but also encouraging safe practices among those in our community.”

This initiative came to fruition after an annual grant that is typically rewarded to the Merle M. Mahr Cancer Center was not available for 2020. The grant helped to provide patients in the community with the opportunity to get a free mammogram, complete with a reading.

“Our goal is to be able to provide men and women in need with the care they deserve regardless of their financial status,” said Mahr Center Director Diana Jackson. “When you donate to the Cancer Center this month, you aren’t only helping provide care for a patient in need, you are potentially helping to save the life of someone right here in our community.”

Breast cancer education and screenings can save up to 37 lives every day in the United States and a mammogram can often find breast changes that could be cancer years before physical symptoms develop.

“When we heard about the deficit in available funding, we began brainstorming to figure out how we might be able to raise the funding needed to continue to help women in need,” said Foundation Philanthropy Coordinator Skylar Phaup. “This initiative requires buy-in from people and businesses throughout our community. Luckily, our community never fails to show up when it is called upon. The heart of the people who make up Hopkins County and the surrounding area is what sets us apart from other places, and it is exactly that that will allow this fundraiser to be a success.”

Similar to the Day of Inclusivity put together last year by the Hopkins County Young Professionals and the Foundation, they are encouraging every individual and business in Hopkins County to wear their masks on Friday, October 30th and to share a photo showcasing your support with the hashtag #MaskUpWiththeMahr.

Edwards shared, “Our goal is to paint the town pink this October, and in doing so bring just a bit of joy and hope to the people of our area.”

To make a donation, you can find more information here or you can contact a Foundation representative directly. You can reach Cameron Edwards by calling 270.825.5783 or Skylar Phaup-Hagerman at 270.825.5792.