"Pink Up the Pace" helping women get free mammograms

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A lump in her breast was the last thing Mel Raby expected at the age of 28. She paid out of pocket for her first mammogram that came back as abnormal.

"I needed to get a biopsy on it and it was $1,200 and that is expensive," Raby said.

That was money she didn't have to spend.

"Being a single mom, I can't do that. So I just put it off on the back of the counter," told Raby.

Her doctors knew that was not a good idea, so they connected her with Pink Up the Pace to help pay for a biopsy. It came back as a tumor, but not cancer.

"To get the news and help and know it was nothing was amazing," she said with a smile.

On Wednesday Pink Up the Pace along with Radiology Associates Imaging in St. Augustine will be doing free mammograms for uninsured or underinsured women in St. Johns County.

"To bring these patients in who may not have a mammogram otherwise is really exciting," said Dr. John Agles, a radiologist.

It is exciting because far too often women let the cost of a mammogram stop them or they are so busy putting their family first, they end up putting their own health last.

"They put it off too long and then it turns out to be something that is not a good outcome," explained Terri Germann with Radiology Associates Imaging in St. Augustine.

If something is found in the mammogram during the free screenings, Imaging Radiology Associates will follow up.

"They will know that we will go ahead and take care of it and Pink Up the Pace will help pay for that as well," said Germann.

Germann added that women should never let money be a deterrent in getting a mammogram, because there are resources out there to help.

The 50 spots for the free mammograms are currently full, but they are taking names for the wait list. Radiology Associates Imaging says they will make sure all the names on the wait list do not fall through the cracks and will help line up resources for those women as well. Call 904-547-0126 to be put on the wait list.

If you just want to donate to Pink up the Pace to help fund breast cancer mammograms and treatment go to PinkUpThePace.com.


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