A medical technician gives Banning resident Annette Gary a mammogram for free.
“Right now, I’m uninsured and I needed to have this done because I have a family history of breast cancer,” said Gary.
This mobile clinic run by the Desert Women for Equality came to Desert Hot Springs this week. Nearly 80 women signed up, most of them having no insurance.
Dana Crawford doesn’t make enough money to buy into her employer’s insurance plan.
“The insurance that I’m offered is not affordable for me at my wagesso I’m having to go to MediCal,” said Crawford.
“We’ve seen a change in the complexion of the ladies coming,” says the program’s director Sharon Doty.”Many of the ladies are saying, ‘I never thought this would be me. I lost my job. I lost my health care. I can’t pay my COBRA.'”
One in eight women get breast cancer. With nearly 1,000 mammograms these past months, the clinic figures they’ve saved dozens of lives.
Many of these women are getting tested because their mothers had breast cancer.
“My mom had breast cancer at the age of 36 and passed away of cancer at age 56,” Annette Gary recalled.
Dana Crawford says her own mother had to have major surgery upon finding out about her cancer.
“She went through chemotherapy and radiation. She will have to have cosmetic surgery on one breast.”
The Desert Women For Equality pays $90 for each mammogram. With the need for medical help increasing in these tough times, women here hope they can count on this charity for their health, and their lives.
The 2009 Clinic schedule is:
February 11: Palm SpringsMarch 11: Palm DesertApril 8: Thousand PalmsMay 13: CoachellaJune 10: Cathedral CityJuly 15: IndioAugust 12: Desert Hot SpringsSeptember 26: Palm SpringsOctober 28: Coachella
For specific locations, to make an appointment or to donate, call 760-325-4701 or visit www.desertwomenforequality.com.