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Early Detection is the Best Protection: Gift of Life Urges Women to Continue Mammograms and Breast Cancer Screenings Despite Conflicting Guidelines

Early Detection is the Best Protection: Gift of Life Urges Women to Continue Mammograms and Breast Cancer Screenings Despite Conflicting Guidelines

Gift of Life Mammogram Client

Gift of Life mammogram client

The Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program urges women to continue breast cancer screenings beginning at age 40, despite new guidelines provided by the American Cancer Society. The recent changes include raising the age that a woman of average risk begins regular screening from 40 to 45 and a recommendation against routine clinical breast exams.

Gift of Life Founder and Chair Regina Rogers said, “We will continue to screen medically underserved Southeast Texas women who are at least 40 years of age, or earlier if they have a family history. Like Dr. Therese Bevers, medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center, we are concerned that the new guidelines will confuse many women. When presented with such conflicting messages, these individuals might elect to do nothing for their breast health, which can have serious consequences. Our organization, which has discovered breast cancer in nearly 200 women through mammography, clinical breast exams and additional diagnostic tests since its inception 20 years ago, has witnessed firsthand the importance of early detection. Mammography and clinical breast exams combined present the best defense in the fight against breast cancer.”

Regina Rogers, Gift of Life Founder and Chair

Regina Rogers, Gift of Life Founder and Chair

Rogers continued, “All of our clients are low income and have no insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. With no physician to provide medical advice, these women look to us for guidance. Each day, our organization deals with the realities of cancer. Our experience has taught us that the disease does not always play by the rules. In fact, we have seen women in their 20’s who have sought our help because they have discovered a lump through breast self-exam. Now that the American Cancer Society has said routine breast exams during annual physicals are no longer necessary, we think that women of all socioeconomic backgrounds will be discouraged from performing self-exams. This could be detrimental to their health.”

The Gift of Life Program stands with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Radiology, the Society of Breast Imaging and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, all of which state that breast health screenings should begin at age 40 for women of average risk.

For more information, contact Gift of Life Program Services Manager, Christina Morris, at 409.833.3663.


 

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Hope • Courage • Inspiration: Gift of Life Kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with 5th Annual Julie Richardson Procter 5K Ribbon Run Color Rush

More than 5,000 Southeast Texans took the Gift of Life’s “pink challenge” by immersing themselves in the color and spirit of survivorship at the 5th Annual Julie Richardson Procter 5K Ribbon Run Color Rush.

The 5K, supported generously by title sponsors H-E-B and Jason’s Deli, featured color blast stations, lively music, a health-related Wellness Village, a Kiddie Blast Color Zone, great prizes and entertainment!

“This means the world to me,” said Ribbon Run Co-Chair Sherry Paschal. “As a breast cancer survivor, I know what this display of love and support means to others in the fight. This run gives us hope to keep persevering and raises much-needed funding for an organization that is saving lives in Southeast Texas. I am proud to be associated with the Gift of Life because of the phenomenal work it does in the community.”

This 5K Ribbon Run heightened awareness of the risks and symptoms of breast, ovarian and other gynecological cancers, while also celebrating the strength and courage of cancer survivors. At a poignant Celebration Ceremony, cancer survivors were honored with an energizing and uplifting flash mob and poignantly symbolic balloon release.

The release was led by breast cancer survivors: Gift of Life Vice President Marty Craig and Angel Among Us honorees Beverly Perry and JoAnne Broussard.

“With these balloons, we remember our beloved cancer survivors – those who have fought, those who are fighting and those who are angels, now fighting for us,” they said. “As we let go of our balloons, we send forth this message – you are not alone. With support, we survive and grow. And, to those no longer with us, we remember you today and will remember you always. This balloon is a symbol of our hope, our compassion and our love.”

During the Celebration Ceremony, a flash mob composed of local dance students energized the crowd. Coordinated by Kelli Underhill and choreographed by Gwen Cormier, the flash mob featured poignant statements of survivorship and support.

The 5K honors the loving memory of Julie Richardson Procter, a respected local attorney and devoted Gift of Life board member and volunteer who passed away after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. It was Procter’s wish that her illness would serve as a meaningful platform to educate women about the signs and symptoms of the disease.

All proceeds from the event benefit the Gift of Life’s breast and ovarian cancer initiatives, which impact thousands of Southeast Texans each year. Along the 5K Ribbon Run route, breast and ovarian cancer educational awareness messages were shared to underscore the mission of the event.

The event also recognized 15 Angels Among Us Honorees, extraordinary champions for the organization’s mission and voices of compassion and support for women and cancer survivors:

Mayor Becky Ames, Charlene Babineaux, Joanne Broussard, Bonnie Cokinos, Becky Hunter, Gloria Locke, Jean Moncla, Beverly Perry, Heather Petkovsek, Janey Phelan, Barbara Phillips, Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, Barbara Quinn, Verna Rutherford and Carol Smith.

BASF and TOTAL Miracle Match for Life Helps the Gift of Life Save Lives

Thank you, BASF and TOTAL Miracle Match for Life, for helping the Gift of Life save lives!

Volunteers and Gift of Life staff with client

Thanks to the extraordinary support of BASF and TOTAL Miracle Match for Life, 35 medically underserved Southeast Texas women received free clinical breast exams and mammograms from the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program.

“My mom passed away from breast cancer so it is important to me to get my yearly mammograms,” said a Gift of Life screening client. “I appreciate BASF and TOTAL Miracle Match for Life showing so much concern for the health of women in the community.”Volunteers with client

Miracle Match for Life is a collaborative effort founded in 2002 by BASF TOTAL Petrochemicals, LLC and Total Port Arthur Refinery.

Individually, each founding company impacts the civic landscape of the region by dedicating countless volunteer hours and generous funds to numerous local causes that foster a spirit of giving through its enthusiastic goodwill. The formation of Miracle Match for Life furthered the companies’ community efforts, particularly in the area of critical healthcare services.

This synergistic partnership educates and heightens awareness for bone marrow donors, blood donations and cancer screenings and prevention in Southeast Texas. The project places special emphasis on informing and enlisting the support in the African-American, Native American and Hispanic communities, where donors and cancer screenings are less prevalent.

Client and family with Gift of Life Program Services Manager Christina MorrisThe Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program, Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program and LifeShare Blood Centers are recipients of the proceeds from the company’s Miracle Match for Life golf tournament, which has helped increase the number of blood and marrow donors in Southeast Texas, with more than 8,000 registrants. As a testament to its success, ten percent of the 750 donor matches from the Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program since 1991 have been from the Golden Triangle.

Since 2003, the financial impact of Miracle Match for Life has advanced the Gift of Life’s mission and helped make available more than 900 free mammograms for medically underserved Southeast Texas women, extending the lives of seven women who were diagnosed with breast cancer and navigated into treatment.
The Gift of Life is accepting new client applications. FREE mammograms and clinical breast exams are provided to women with limited income and who do not have private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.

To find out if you qualify for a free mammogram, please call the Gift of Life at (409) 860-3369 or toll-free at (877) 720-GIFT (4438), or fill out the form below.

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Temple Emanuel Sisterhood Saves Lives with the Gift of Life

Thank you, Temple Emanuel Sisterhood, for helping the Gift of Life save lives!

Temple Emanuel representatives with Gift of Life Staff

Thanks to the extraordinary support of Temple Emanuel Sisterhood, 32 medically underserved Southeast Texas women received free clinical breast exams and mammograms from the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program.

Temple Emanuel representatives Temple Emanuel Sisterhood is an organization of women dedicated to the health and education of the community, and serves as an invaluable auxiliary to Congregation Temple Emanuel, a Beaumont reform synagogue founded in 1895.

This local affiliate of the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) strives to further social action and positive change through a broad spectrum of humanitarian causes that increase the health, wellness and comfort of women and children. Many of its members are engaged Gift of Life volunteers, assisting with outreach activities, while also serving as board members and integral participants with the program’s breast cancer support group, the Pink Power Network.

In 2011, the Sisterhood furthered its endorsement of the Gift of Life through its generous sponsorship of a UTMB mobile mammography van, where free clinical breast exams and mammogram screenings are provided for women who would otherwise lack access to these critical services.

Temple Emanuel representative with Gift of Life staff and clientAs an advocate of the Gift of Life’s mission, the Sisterhood has made available more than 100 free screenings and exams for medically underserved individuals, furthering its cause to save lives in Southeast Texas.

 

 

 

The Gift of Life is accepting new client applications. FREE mammograms and clinical breast exams are provided to women with limited income and who do not have private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.

To find out if you qualify for a free mammogram, please call the Gift of Life at (409) 860-3369 or toll-free at (877) 720-GIFT (4438), or fill out the form below.

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St. Katharine Drexel Humanitarians Save Lives with the Gift of Life

Thank you, St. Katharine Drexel Humanitarians, for helping the Gift of Life save lives!

 

St. Katharine Drexel Humanitarians with Gift of Life client and staff

The Gift of Life is fortunate to have the support of St. Katharine Drexel Humanitarians, a community outreach program sponsored by Cristo Rey, St. Anne and St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica churches in Beaumont. On July 8, 2015, the outreach program sponsored a mobile mammography van site for more than 30 medically underserved Beaumont women.

skd_van_2Named in honor of the patron saint of philanthropists, St. Katharine Drexel Humanitarians embodies the spirit of Mother Katharine, a religious woman who devoted her life to the educational and health-related needs of oppressed African Americans and Native Americans and was an advocate for racial tolerance.
Locally, this spirit of compassion inspires the efforts of St. Katharine Drexel Humanitarians. Led by a committee of dedicated individuals, including Reverend Monsignor William Manger, and hundreds of tireless volunteers, the organization greatly enriches the region with its mission to mobilize people and resources in the medical and faith communities to improve the overall health and well-being of individuals in Beaumont through programs that focus on disease prevention, healing and wholeness.

Since 2004, the humanitarian organization has been a valued advocate of the Gift of Life, helping the program provide more than 550 free clinical breast exams and mammograms to medically underserved women in Southeast Texas.

“Thank you, Gift of Life, and St. Katharine Drexel Humanitarians for making this lifesaving screening possible,” said Earnestine Anderson, Gift of Life breast cancer survivor, diagnosed through the support of St. Katharine Drexel Humanitarians.

Recognizing the organization’s outstanding community leadership and its shared mission of providing vital healthcare for individuals who are medically underserved, the Gift of Life presented its prestigious 2013 Julie Rogers “Spirit of Love” Award to St. Katharine Drexel.

skd_van_3In addition to its support of the Gift of Life, St. Katharine Drexel, in conjunction with several non-profit organizations, annually hosts a health fair, benefiting medically underserved individuals who might not otherwise receive essential care and services. Since the health fair’s inception, thousands of Southeast Texans have benefited from the organization’s goodwill, with the number of individuals greatly increasing each year.

“I am grateful for this service. It is important to me to get checked every year,” said one of Wednesday’s clients.

The Gift of Life is accepting new client applications. FREE mammograms and clinical breast exams are provided to women with limited income and who do not have private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.

To find out if you qualify for a free mammogram, please call the Gift of Life at (409) 860-3369 or toll-free at (877) 720-GIFT (4438), or fill out the form below.

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  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
    Please enter your date of birth.
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Flint Hills Resources Saves Lives with the Gift of Life

Thank you, Flint Hills Resources, for helping the Gift of Life save lives!

Flint Hills representatives with clients, Regina Rogers and Gift of Life staff

Through the generous support of Flint Hills Resources in Port Arthur, 34 medically underserved women received free Gift of Life clinical breast exams and mammograms at the Lakeside Palomar Community Center in Port Arthur on June 23rd.

Flint Hills representatives with nurse and mammography machineSince its inception in 1994, the Gift of Life program has been saving lives. Flint Hills Resources has sponsored numerous Gift of Life events and initiatives in support of the organization’s mission of saving lives through cancer awareness and screenings throughout seven Southeast Texas counties.  In 2014, Flint Hills Resources extended its support by sponsoring a UTMB mobile mammography van site, which is a critical tool used to address the health disparities prevalent in our region.

Last year, Gift of Life client, Marie Brocks, attended her first mobile mammography van site and expressed appreciation to Flint Hills Resources for their sponsorship, which provided her with invaluable peace of mind.

“My older sister and grandmother had breast cancer, so I know that I am at risk,” Brocks said. “I wanted to make sure everything was okay. I appreciate Flint Hills Resources for sponsoring the van site because I do not have insurance. This is a big help!”

Flint Hills representatives with Gift of Life staff and Flint Hills signAs one of the world’s most respected independent refining, chemicals and biofuels companies, Flint Hills Resources strives to create value within the communities where its employees live and work. This effort includes financial support for many programs that help educate and enrich children, preserve natural resources, or simply to offer a hand to those in need. Many of these programs also benefit from direct involvement by the company’s employees, who contribute their time and talents toward service projects. Flint Hills Resources is making a remarkable difference in the lives of Southeast Texans.

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The Gift of Life is accepting new client applications. FREE mammograms and clinical breast exams are provided to women with limited income and who do not have private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.

To find out if you qualify for a free mammogram, please call the Gift of Life at (409) 860-3369 or toll-free at (877) 720-GIFT (4438), or fill out the form below.

  • Please enter your first and last names.
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
    Please enter your date of birth.
  • Please enter a phone number where we can reach you.
  • If you have another phone number where we can reach you, please enter it here.
  • Please enter your mailing address.
  • If you have an email address, please enter it.

Top 5 Reasons Why Champagne & Ribs is the Party of the Year

Champagne & Ribs: A Force for Good, Thursday, April 16

The Gift of Life cordially invites you to have the night of your life on Thursday, April 16 at 6:30 pm, honoring Reverend John Adolph, Joe Holland, MD, Chief James Singletary and Sheila Umphrey

Read the list below to discover why everyone in Southeast Texas calls Champagne & Ribs the Party of the Year!

 Click to order your tickets today!

 1. Champagne & Ribs is Bigger and Better Than Ever Before

Champagne & Ribs 2014

With hundreds of anticipated guests, this year’s party will be bigger than ever before! So, we’re throwing open the doors of Ford Park and giving our guests more room to dance the night away to incredible musical guests (see #3), drink the best Southeast Texas bubbly from our super-sized cantina and dine to their heart’s delight on the culinary masterpieces provided by the Golden Triangle Texas Chef’s Association and Go Texan!

2. It’s Going to be Out of This World

Star Wars Crew

Grab a light saber and travel to a galaxy far, far away at this Star Wars-themed party. You can be as far out as you wanna be! Go ahead and rub elbows with a Storm Trooper or dance the robot with R2-D2 and C-3PO. Either way, you’ll be part of a Jedi Force on a mission to have fun.

3. We’re Rockin’ Out with Rockin’ Bands

Bag of Donuts

Dance under the cosmos because we’re playing your song! Mid-Life Crisis will kick-off the night, with their jammin’ mix of classic rock n’ roll. And, then get ready, because Bag of Donuts will be taking the stage. This highly-acclaimed band of New Orleans natives will ignite the audience with their unique brand of Superpop tunes, covering popular songs from every era with their famous blend of flamboyant style and rocker showmanship.

4. You Just Might Win Big

Win a New 2014 Ford F150 SuperCrew!

We’re raffling off a brand new 2014 Ford F150 SuperCrew at incredible odds; get your ticket today! With only 500 raffle tickets to sell, you might just be going home with a shiny new set of keys. We’ll also have phenomenal auction packages that’ll have you clamoring to be the highest bidder.

5. It’s a Great Party for a Great Cause

Gift of Life Prostate Cancer ScreeningChampagne & Ribs is a “party with a cause,” with all proceeds benefiting the Gift of Life Prostate Cancer Program. Throughout the year, the Gift of Life provides prostate cancer education throughout seven Southeast Texas counties. And, during June’s Men’s Health Month, the Gift of Life provides free prostate cancer screenings for medically underserved men from across the region, as well as a range of free medical services, including blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure testing; Hepatitis C and HIV screenings; and consultations with medical professionals to discuss the significance of tests results.

For clients diagnosed with prostate cancer, the Gift of Life offers a full continuum of care, pays for all necessary diagnostic tests and underwrites the complete cost of treatment.

Since 2000, the Gift of Life has conducted more than 8,000 free prostate cancer screenings and helped extend the lives of more than 67 men who have been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer, with all costs completely underwritten by the Gift of Life.

Order your tickets today!

Exxpress Mart Raises Awareness and Funds to Help the Gift of Life Save Lives

Exxpress Mart owners, Imad and Elias Sarkis are deeply committed to making a difference in Southeast Texas.

Elias and Imad Sarkis presenting Check to Gift of Life

Elias and Imad Sarkis

At a special check presentation, Exxpress Mart presented the Gift of Life with a $32,500 donation to further the organization’s healthcare and educational programs.

Implemented in 2013 by Imad and Elias Sarkis, the Exxpress Mart Holiday Giving Campaign encourages customers to make a donation to the Gift of Life by purchasing a festive reindeer that symbolizes their support of the organization and provids much-needed funds for its expansion of healthcare services.

This year, thousands of Southeast Texas residents charitably supported Exxpress Mart’s community initiative, contributing to a unique grassroots effort that benefits individuals residing throughout the Gift of Life’s seven-county service area.

“Though the landscape of healthcare is changing, one aspect of medical care that hasn’t changed is the critical need for lifesaving cancer screenings and education in our community,” said Regina Rogers, Gift of Life Founder and Chair. “The contributions from Exxpress Mart and their customers are a blessing for the Gift of Life at a time when the need for our services is increasing, while traditional funding avenues are diminishing. We are grateful for this phenomenal show of support because it will truly save lives.”

In a friendly spirit of competition, each of the twenty participating Exxpress Mart stores sought to raise the most money for the Gift of Life. The top-earning stores were Exxpress Mart 12 (located in Lumberton) that raised $4,362.49 and Exxpress Mart 24 (located in Silsbee), which collected $4,058.50. Altogether, $22,500 was raised for the Gift of Life – almost doubling last year’s contribution.

Leading by example, the Sarkis brothers contributed an additional $10,000 in loving memory of their beloved father, the late Samir Sarkis, who passed away last December and whose extraordinary legacy of hard work and a generous spirit inspired them to build a successful family business and give back to the region.

“The Sarkis family is deeply committed to the needs of people,” said Norma Sampson, Gift of Life Executive Director. “Not only did they conceive of this incredible way to help, but their heartfelt connection to individuals who lack access to lifesaving healthcare services was illuminated by the way they actively participated in this campaign. We are humbled recipients of their benevolence and goodwill.”

This incredible fundraising effort will provide support, education and free healthcare services to Southeast Texans in need. The Gift of Life applauds Exxpress Mart for making a difference in our community with their compassionate generosity.

GOL-StaffThank you, Imad, Elias, and ExxpressMart!

Exxpress Mart Logo

 

The Gift of Life Celebrates Kick Butts Day

Today marks the 20th anniversary of National Kick Butts Day. This nationwide initiative encourages youth, teachers and health advocates around the United States to stand up and speak out against Big Tobacco.

Three Ways the Gift of Life is Taking On Big Tobacco

POD with Tobacco Information1. We’re putting tobacco in its place. The Gift of Life’s Tobacco Control Coalition of Southeast Texas is locking up tobacco. Through an interactive POD, we’re sharing impactful educational materials about the health hazards of tobacco and encouraging the community to make a symbolic commitment to “lock up” tobacco through multi-colored locks displayed on the POD’s exterior. This traveling anti-tobacco exhibit will make stops at Parkdale Mall (March 13 – 19), Central Mall (March 20 – 23) and the Lumberton Shopping Center (March 27 – 29).

Not a Replacement2. We’re crushing the competition. The tobacco industry generates $1.2 billion per year of sales revenue from children under the age of 18. Is it any wonder why they target our youth with deceptive ad campaigns? The Gift of Life refuses to allow this industry to craftily compete for the attention of our children. Through the program’s Not a Replacement Campaign, we are empowering youth to stand up and declare their unique traits and talents – qualities they refuse to surrender to tobacco. Teens are encouraged to post selfies of themselves doing what they love with the #NotAReplacement hashtag. Through peer-to-peer and social media interactions, teens are teaching teens to say no to tobacco.

AcroDunk at the Tobacco POD3.We’re rallying the troops. On March 12, the Gift of Life unveiled its new Tobacco Control Coalition of Southeast Texas at a press conference featuring ACRODUNK, a gravity-defying slam dunk performance squad. The momentum of this press conference continued as local youth organized and implemented high school pep rallies for the cause. West Brook High School Senior Maret Montanari planned a pep rally in honor of National Kick Butt’s Day (March 18), raising $900 for the Gift of Life’s anti-tobacco initiatives. These funds will ultimately help the Gift of Life continue battling tobacco’s treacherous grip on our community.

 

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Julie Rogers "Gift of Life" Program

409.833.3663
877.720.4438 (toll-free)
info@giftoflifebmt.org

2390 Dowlen Road
Beaumont, Texas 77706
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