April 27, 2013
Dozens of women are feeling a little weight lifted off their shoulders after having a free breast health screening at Martha Jefferson Hospital on Sunday.
One local volunteer tells CBS19 just how special this program is.
"Goodness knows If I would've been around today because this program actually saved my life," said Linda Payne of Fluvanna County.
Payne was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2001 after going to a free breast exam day at Martha Jefferson with her mother and sister.
When she got the call saying she needed to be seen again, she didn't think it would turn out to be anything serious and was afraid of what the cost would be to get checked once more.
"It sends chills down my spine every time I think about it," she said.
But on Sunday, she stands as a survivor.
"It makes me feel great to know that we might be saving someone's life out there just by the women here, getting together and having this."
As women walk in to get their annual or first breast exam, Payne says she can only hope more women, who aren't in the best financial shape, know they can still take care of themselves and get the support they need.
"As a woman and having breast cancer, I must say that I wear a pink ribbon of some sort everyday because I want people to ask me about it, so I can tell them.," Payne said. "Because if I'm not letting them know that it's out there and that it does happen to you and it could happen to your sister or your mom or your family or a friend, they're not going to pay attention to it until it happens to them."
The free breast health screenings are a bi-annual event held by the Women's Committee at Martha Jefferson Hospital. The committee is celebrating 20 years of helping the community.