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Donation dollars help women get free mammograms | News

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Donation dollars help women get free mammograms
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Dade City, FL -- More than 9,800 runners pounded the pavement through Downtown St. Petersburg, raising $800,000 for Susan G. Komen. The majority of those funds stay right here in the Bay area through the Suncoast affiliate to help programs like the Farmworkers Self-Help in Dade City, providing free mammograms to hundreds of women who need them most.

"Farmworkers don't make a lot of money. They are probably the hardest working poor in the United States," executive director of Farmerworkers Self-Help, Margarita Romo, said.

She adds that migrant workers face a number of challenges when it comes to health care, in addition to a lack of health insurance. "For our people, not being able to speak English, being afraid of institutions, being afraid of hospitals, not knowing what would happen to them. Sometimes they just wouldn't get near a place like that."

Women from Farmworkers Self-Help go into the fields and nurseries to talk to other women about what to look for and talk to them about getting free annual exams.

"We have the samples so they look around for the size of what might be a lump. They know how to tell others. We've taught the young girls. We've trained them so they can tell their aunts and grandmothers."

51-year-old Catalina Morales was once scared to get tested. After a volunteer insisted she get a mammogram and drove her to the appointment, she's been getting annual exams for the past decade. While there's no history of cancer in her family, Catalina isn't taking any chances. Speaking through a translator, Catalina says she's very happy that she's able to get her exams and that she is able to keep up with her health, not only with her's but with her family's. That she's able to come and get her exam done, but let others be aware around her.

Fourteen other programs throughout the Bay area also received grants from Susan G. Komen for education, screening and treatment. All in all, Komen's Suncoast affiliate doled out $1.1 million throughout six counties.

Click on the links below to find information about free mammograms in your community:

Florida Department of Health: Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection

FDA: Center for Devices and Radiological Health

To learn more about Farmworkers Self-Help, click here.

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