JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Applause to principal Jennifer Tanner and her entire school for working hard to help us purchase the Buddy Bus, a mobile mammography unit for six local counties.

The students took a challenge. They were promised if they raised $1,000, they can paint their principal pink!

How did they reach their goal? They had to do chores at home. For example, Zoey says she helped her mom cook chili for supper and she cleaned up some piles of magazines.


The students' efforts paid off. At an all-school pep rally, their effervescent principal cheered for them and sat in a chair to be sprayed pink. Even the pastor joined in.


A Grace Lutheran mom, Sherma Henry, also stepped up during the rally. She's almost finished with her breast cancer treatment, and through tears, thanked everyone for their support.

Her message is very important to the Buddy Bus project. She says a mammogram "saved my life."

Oncologists and radiologists say a mammogram can find an early pre-cancer, a stage zero cancer, so tiny women can't even feel it yet. But less than 50 percent of women get regular mammograms.

So First Coast News is raising a million dollars with Baptist/MD Anderson to buy the Buddy Bus.

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If you'd like to donate, go to firstcoastnews.com/local and look for the pink banner, or click here. All donations are tax deductible.

The Buddy Bus is for our local families because when you catch breast cancer early, your odds of beating it are better than 95 percent.