Saving Southeast Texas women

Marlene Cardena; Norma Sampson, executive director at Gift of Life; Regina Roger

Through the support of Jon Huntsman Sr., board member of the Beaumont Foundation of America, 34 medically underserved Southeast Texas women received free Gift of Life clinical breast exams and mammograms on the UTMB mobile van at Cristo Rey Catholic Church in Beaumont last week. One client who had an abnormal mammogram screening was referred immediately for diagnostic testing, which is also completely underwritten by the Gift of Life.

Carol Eddins, Beaumont Foundation of America director of grants, visited the site and met with clients who were receiving screenings.

“It is heartening to witness the compassion that is imbued in every service provided by the Gift of Life,” Eddins said. “These lifesaving medical tests provide a peace of mind to clients who would otherwise go without the care they require. The Beaumont Foundation of America is proud to be associated with the Gift of Life’s mission, which is lifting the spirits of so many Southeast Texans in need.”

The Beaumont Foundation of America is a nonprofit grant-making institution dedicated to enriching the lives and enhancing the futures of less fortunate children and youth, families and the elderly across the United States.

Created in 2001, the Beaumont Foundation supports five program areas: Children and Youth, Education, Healthcare, Social Services and Foundation Initiated Grants and Projects that provide services to underserved populations, with the ultimate goal of improving quality of life.

Huntsman, a cancer survivor and the founder of the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been a supporter of the Gift of Life since 1998, when he made a substantial donation and helped establish its Prostate Cancer Initiative. A former recipient of the Julie Rogers Spirit of Love Award, Huntsman recognizes the impact of quality and accessible healthcare and champions the Gift of Life’s Breast Cancer Initiative.

“The Gift of Life is deeply grateful to philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr. and the Beaumont Foundation of America for their very generous support of our organization’s efforts,” said Regina Rogers, Gift of Life founder and chair. “Their belief in our mission enhances our ability to provide additional lifesaving services to women in need.”

In responding to the medical needs of underserved women, the Gift of Life established a continuum of care to reduce healthcare disparities through free breast health cancer screenings, coupled with preventive educational outreach and extensive case management for women who require diagnostic evaluations and cancer treatment.

The Gift of Life’s breast healthcare programming has been strategically coordinated at churches and convenient neighborhood community sites where the organization brings the UTMB mobile van to Southeast Texas 24 times during the year to make available centralized medical services that are strengthened by the bilingual translators, nurses, clinical staff and volunteers.

The Gift of Life has provided thousands of women residing throughout seven Southeast Texas counties with breast cancer screenings and additional diagnostic tests, including ultrasounds and biopsies, when necessary. Since inception, more than 175 women have been diagnosed with breast cancer and navigated into treatment.

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).

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