Almost everyone is touched by cancer in some way—but not everyone does something about it. That's why I’m so proud of UnityPoint Health – Methodist | Proctor Foundation employee Nancy Borum. Nancy's mother and sister have both battled breast cancer. Her grandmother and aunt died of the disease. She and her friends decided to fight back by starting Bikers for Ta-Tas, a nonprofit organization that hosts a motorcycle ride each year. Since its inception in 2008, Bikers for Ta-Tas has raised nearly $150,000, with more bikers participating each year.
The money Nancy and her team raise is donated to the UnityPoint Health – Methodist | Proctor Foundation, paying for life-saving screenings for dozens of local women every year. It also helps provide follow-up care to some patients, along with specialty items to make hospital stays more comfortable. This fall, the Association for Fundraising Professionals will honor Nancy and the Bikers for Ta-Tas team with the Giving Heart Award, a special distinction for organizations that make an incredible philanthropic impact on our community.
Nancy is passionate about stopping breast cancer because she knows firsthand the devastating toll it takes on women and their families. Her story serves as an important reminder to all of us that we must be proactive about our health:
- It’s important to talk to your doctor if you have a family history of breast cancer.
- Yearly mammograms are recommended for women 40 and older.
- Do a monthly breast self-exam, and talk to your doctor if you notice any changes.
- Maintain a healthy weight, exercise and limit alcohol intake.
UnityPoint Health – Peoria is committed to screening women for breast cancer and providing coordinated care to those diagnosed with the disease. Take our MammoVan. It travels to communities across central Illinois, allowing women to get digital mammograms in a place that’s comfortable and convenient for them. If a patient doesn’t have insurance and can’t afford a mammogram, grant funding is found to cover the costs.
We know how difficult it is to receive a breast cancer diagnosis; that’s why we coordinate a Comprehensive Breast Day for each of our patients. It’s a special time set aside for bringing together the patient’s team of caregivers, who explain the patient’s test results and treatment plan, and answer their questions about what to expect going forward. They’ll also help women explain their diagnosis to loved ones.
Each of our patients is assigned a personal Breast Health Navigator, who holds the patient’s hand throughout treatment, helping them schedule appointments, coordinate testing and find their way along the road to recovery. This personal attention makes it a little easier to get through the emotional process of breast cancer treatment.
This month is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I know you’ll hear more inspiring stories like Nancy Borum’s—and perhaps even be moved to get involved. You can do that by coming to the UnityPoint Health – Methodist | Proctor Foundation’s Autumn Affair on October 25th. The money raised there will complement the efforts of dedicated groups like Bikers for Ta-Tas and support our mission: to provide the best outcome for every patient, every time. I hope to see you there. iBi
Learn more about the UnityPoint Health – Methodist | Proctor Foundation’s Autumn Affair at unitypoint.org/Peoria.