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Christen and Cooper -- Happy photo because of a mammogram

Christen got a mammogram at age 40, the age radiologists recommend most women begin mammography. She caught her breast cancer early and now she's saving others.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Christen Vanooteghem knows the power a mammogram holds.  "I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 40."

Age 40 is when Baptist Health radiologists say women should begin their mammograms.

A mammo helped Christen find her cancer super early. Stage zero.

Now she's the force behind JP Morgan Chase and its efforts to save lives of their employees.  Christen inspired booking the Buddy Bus to come to Chase, where she works in Baymeadows.

She says it was immediately popular. "It will be here six times. We were just going to do it once in October, but we got an overwhelming response and people wanted to do it," she says. 

The Buddy Bus is a mobile mammography unit, a joint project of First Coast News and Baptist/MD Anderson. The bus is equipped with  state-of-the-art technology, which can detect tiny pre-cancers the size of grains of sand.  

Catching breast cancer that early often gives a woman a 98% chance of survival.

The Buddy Bus makes getting a mammogram easy.  It pulls up right into the parking lot of a school or business or event. Women can be in and out in 15 minutes.

Credit: Buddy Bus mobile mammography unit

Christen's co-workers give positive feedback.  Carmen says, "The Buddy Bus is awesome.  They come to you.  You don't even have to go to the doctor."

The results of the mammogram are sent to a woman's primary care doctor.

Christen is a follower of Buddy Check 12. "Absolutely." she says, "Just watching people on the news and hearing their stories" impacted her.

As a mom (of fur babies, too) and wife and career woman, Christen has good reasons to stay alive.  And that's exactly why she was smart to get that mammogram.

Credit: Christen Vanooteghem
  1. Have you signed up your group for the Buddy Bus?  Sign up here.

If Buddy Check has helped you in any way, please email First Coast News anchor Jeannie Blaylock   jblaylock@firstcoastnews.com

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