A legacy of service

A legacy of service

Through the generous support of Linda and Joe Penland, 43 medically underserved women received “Gift of Life” clinical breast exams at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Kountze on Nov. 28, with mammograms scheduled at the church in early December.

As cancer survivors, Linda and Joe promote their conviction that “early detection is the best protection.” Advocates of healthcare services for underserved individuals, the Penlands have contributed generously to the “Gift of Life.” In 2007, they established the Linda and Joe Penland Free Mammogram Fund, a pledge that has helped make available hundreds of mammograms for “Gift of Life” clients and led to the diagnosis of breast cancer in three women, who were navigated into treatment and provided support services.

“We know how vital it is for women in our community to obtain free mammograms at convenient locations, and we are happy to be able to do our part in making this possible,” said Joe Penland, who warmly greeted clients at the church with his wife, Linda, a five-year survivor whose breast cancer was detected by a mammogram.

Sandra Boren, “Gift of Life” screening client, expressed her gratitude for the peace of mind that comes from receiving a mammogram each year. “This screening could one day save my life,” Boren said. “I am grateful and blessed for the care and compassion of the program’s staff.”

Ever since Linda was successfully treated for this devastating disease and in an effort to heighten the importance of cancer prevention and education, Joe has utilized his thriving business, Quality Mat (the world’s largest mat company), as a unique cancer awareness platform by painting the mats in his rental fleet pink and printing “Gift of Life” pink ribbons on the side of railcars transporting mats to other states.

The Penlands are also an important part of the “Gift of Life’s Prostate Cancer Initiative and committed to ensuring that underserved men receive free screenings and treatment. For seven years, they have graciously served as Honorary Chairs and sponsors of the organization’s prostate cancer event, Champagne & Ribs. Their participation and support provide essential funding for these efforts that reach men throughout seven counties.

A “Gift of Life” Advisory Board member and recipient of the 2006 Julie Rogers “Spirit of Love” Award, Joe believes in “paying it forward,” and together the Penlands are making a difference in healthcare as well as other causes throughout the region.

Joe is a former president of the 100 Club of Southeast Texas and, with Linda, a major contributor to Girls’ Haven, the Jefferson County Grandparents Association, and the Desire Street Ministries. Recently dedicating all net profits from their new Quality Mat location in Houston to the Penland Foundation, they exemplify an extraordinary spirit of community activism and benevolence.

The “Gift of Life” is currently accepting new client applications. To find out if you qualify for a free mammogram, call the “Gift of Life” at (409) 860-3369 or toll-free at (877) 720-GIFT (4438).