RFD raises money for breast cancer awareness

For many women facing certain health concerns, having the necessary procedures performed to remain healthy isn’t an option because of their financial situation.

But thanks to a fundraiser sponsored by the Russellville Fire Department during the month of October, many women in the area will be able to receive these potentially life-saving procedures free of charge.

This week, RFD firefighter Rhett Bradford presented a check for $1,886 to Belinda Johnson, CNO of Russellville Hospital.

The money was raised in October through the sale of breast cancer awareness T-shirts.

Johnson said the money would go into a fund set up to help qualified women receive mammograms and ultrasounds.

“There has been a misunderstanding in the past that this money is used for annual screenings, but what we use this money for is to help people who have found a lump or have other reasons to believe they need to have a more thorough procedure completed,” Johnson said.

“There is a program set up through the health department where some of these women can qualify, but for the ones who do not qualify there, they have no other way of getting these procedures done that could possibly save their lives if there is something wrong.

“These are the women that we are able to help with this money. To qualify for the health department program, you must be over 50 years old, but the younger a woman is when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, the more aggressive the type of cancer is.

“This makes it vitally important for these women to have these ultrasounds and mammograms performed.

“We appreciated the Russellville Fire Department for making this possible and for continuing to help us each year.”

Bradford said this is the third year the RFD has raised money for breast cancer awareness and mammogram screenings through the Russellville Hospital fund.

Since that time, the money they have raised has helped fund 22 mammograms and 14 ultrasounds.

“There were other fire departments that we knew of who did similar fundraisers for breast cancer awareness, and we wanted to do something here in our own community to help women receive these screenings,” Bradford said.

“We know that at any time, it could be someone we know or love who is facing breast cancer, so we are glad to be able to help in any way we can.

“Seeing the actual number of women who have been helped just makes it all worth while.”

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