News Archive

Good News: Southeast Texas Food Bank Makes Critical Donation to Gift of Life Clients!

Gift of Life Office Assistant Raymond Lane; 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont President John Eugene; Gift of Life Health Education Specialist Lauren Broussard; 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont Education and Mentoring Coordinator Albert Darby, Jr.; 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont Chairman of Health and Wellness Melvin Brock; Gift of Life Executive Director Norma Sampson; 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont Office Manager Alvin Eldridge; and Gift of Life Office Executive Assistant Howard Castille.

📣💗 Great things are happening at Gift of Life today! 💗📣

The Southeast Texas Food Bank just made a generous donation of water and staple food items to the Gift of Life for distribution to those impacted by cancer and our cancer clients, many of whom struggle to keep food on the table as they battle for their lives. This new food pantry will make a remarkable difference to so many Southeast Texans in need!

We also extend our gratitude to 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont for sharing their muscles with us! 💪 They helped us unload and unpack our pantry today.

💟 We are sincerely humbled by the generosity of our charitable partners! 💟

Mobile Mammography Van Site: Miracle Match for Life

We extend our gratitude to Miracle Match for Life for its recent mobile mammography van site sponsorship that provided more than 30 women with free clinical breast exams and mammograms!

Miracle Match for Life is a collaborative effort founded in 2002 by BASF TOTAL Petrochemicals and Total Port Arthur Refinery which furthers critical healthcare services throughout the region.

This synergistic partnership strives to educate and heighten awareness for bone marrow and blood donations, cancer screenings and cancer prevention in Southeast Texas, with a special emphasis on at-risk African-American, Native American and Hispanic communities.

Since 2003, the Gift of Life, Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program and LifeShare Blood Centers have annually benefited from the proceeds of the Miracle Match for Life golf tournament. This financial impact has helped the Gift of Life make available nearly 1,100 free mammograms for medically underserved Southeast Texas women, extending the lives of eleven individuals who were diagnosed with breast cancer and navigated into treatment. In addition, MMFL has contributed to thousands of free Gift of Life prostate cancer screenings, helping extend the lives of 77 men.

PRESS RELEASE: New Legislation Increases Federal Minimum Age for Sale of Tobacco Products to 21



Lauren Broussard

Health Education Specialist



New Legislation Increases Federal Minimum Age for Sale of Tobacco Products to 21

(Beaumont, Texas) – Wednesday, January 15, 2020  – The Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program supports and sanctions new legislation that raised the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years, making it illegal to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to any one under the age of 21.

This new legislation is a “breath of fresh air” for Southeast Texas – where skyrocketing rates of e-cigarette use among youth have had many citizens concerned for the safety and air quality of the community.

In 2019, it was estimated that 27.5% of high school students and 10.5% of middle school students nationwide had used e-cigarettes in the past month despite alarming trends of fatal lung diseases attributed to vaping.

Since 2004, the Gift of Life has been battling Big Tobacco’s targeting of Southeast Texas youth with its Don’t Smoke Your Life Away anti-tobacco programming. The initiative strives to combat the tobacco (and vaping) industry’s influence on youth, while also educating Southeast Texans on the healthcare hazards and economic impact of smoking and vaping.

For more information about the Gift of Life, please call 409.833.3663 or visit



Southeast Texas was a sea of pink throughout the month of October. With our ‘Tie the Town Pink” ribbons placed all over the region and pink and teal murals, our community really got in the pink spirit. We enjoyed unprecedented displays of support from so many local businesses, organizations and schools who hosted Pink Out activities. Thank you to everyone who organized or participated in these meaningful events for the Gift of Life! With your support, we can continue our lifesaving mission to save lives!

Winter Update

Dear Friends,

As we say goodbye to this year and prepare to embark on the year ahead, we’re each afforded a unique perspective to gauge our growth.

This year was not without its challenges. Many of our friends and neighbors are still struggling to recover from yet another devastating storm. This effort is compounded by the healthcare burdens shared by thousands of local men and women. For many Southeast Texans, health, hope and happiness might feel like an impossible dream. We intend to change that.

In the wake of Imelda, the Gift of Life incorporated a new slogan into all of our Ribbon Run materials: With You Every Step of the Way.

What greater message can we share than that?

We are with you – no matter what may be around the corner. You can always depend on the Gift of Life to show up with sincere offerings of love, support and comfort.

Thank you for continuing to support us and helping us make a difference in the lives of thousands of local men and women who depend on us – now, more than ever.

Together, we are saving lives!

With holiday blessings,

The Gift of Life

Commitment, Compassion & Concern

The Gift of Life provides Southeast Texans with extensive cancer prevention educational outreach; free mammograms, prostate cancer screenings and diagnostic tests with access to follow-up treatment for medically underserved women and men; and a tobacco prevention program, that targets both adults and children.

Gift of Life and Motiva: Saving Lives in Southeast Texas

Thanks to the extraordinary support of Motiva Enterprises, LLC, nearly 40 medically underserved Southeast Texas women received free preventative health screenings, clinical breast exams and mammograms from the Gift of Life at the West Side Development Center in Port Arthur.

Since 2000, the refinery has annually sponsored Gift of Life van sites, making available nearly 600 free mammograms and clinical breast exams and helping extend the lives of women, whose breast cancer was detected at Motiva-sponsored screenings and were navigated through treatment.

It is an honor and privilege to team up with the Gift of Life to help women in our community. It sometimes is the only opportunity some women have to get a mammogram. Motiva considers it a blessing to be able to participate in this worthy cause. – Motiva Communications Manager Arlene LeBlanc

A true champion of the Gift of Life’s cause, Motiva also supports the organization’s Prostate Cancer Program, helping to provide free prostate cancer screenings to thousands of medically underserved men.

In 2010, Motiva was awarded the Gift of Life’s prestigious Corporate “Spirit of Love” Award to honor its outstanding community leadership and commitment to the Gift of Life’s mission of saving lives through the provision of essential cancer education and free healthcare services for medically underserved individuals.

At this year’s Motiva-sponsored van site, the Gift of Life, through its medical collaboration with the Port Arthur Health Department, provided preventative healthcare screenings, including blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol. Education regarding breast cancer, skin cancer, tobacco prevention and nutrition was also provided to encourage healthy lifestyle practices that reduce the risk of disease. Motiva’s generous support of Gift of Life preventative healthcare initiatives greatly enhances the community’s health and well-being.

With the support of Motiva Enterprises, LLC and other generous donors, ​the Gift of Life has helped extend the lives of more than 275 Southeast Texans who have been diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer and treated through its efforts.

PRESS RELEASE: Gift of Life’s Southeast Texas Walk of Survivorship A Celebration of Life, Hope & Strength

On Saturday, October 7, at 10:00 am, Gift of Life will host a new, community-wide celebration in downtown Beaumont – a Walk of Survivorshipin loving memory of Julie Richardson Procter.

This special event is scheduled in lieu of the planned Julie Richardson Procter 5K Ribbon Run, which has been rescheduled to October 6, 2018, due to Hurricane Harvey.

“The Ribbon Run has become a regional tradition of cancer awareness and survivorship,” said Executive Director Norma Sampson. “We invite you to put on your Hurricane Herculean sneakers and wear whatever you would like – pink n’ teal t-shirts or costumes. It’s a family affair – pets, wagons and strollers welcome. Together, we will rebuild and recover as we confront and overcome challenges, whether from cancer or the hurricane.”

Regina Rogers, Gift of Life Founder and Chair, added, “Recognizing Southeast Texas Strong and the indomitable spirit of our region, and with the continuing support of our devoted sponsors who are steadfast in endorsing our efforts, we are hosting an event that also reflects our passion in fighting breast and ovarian cancer. With grateful hearts, we hope that everyone from throughout Southeast Texas will join with us to celebrate life, hope and survival.”

Generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Diane & Don Shaver and Title Sponsors H-E-B and Jason’s Deli, the Walk of Survivorship will kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a short, fun walk in Downtown Beaumont led by New York Times bestselling author Jill Conner Browne, THE Sweet Potato Queen, who will share brief, inspirational remarks spotlighting survivors and local first responders.

A Celebration Ceremony, with sponsorship by Mandie & Dr. Garrett Peel / Previty Clinic, will feature special guest, renowned vocalist Yvonne Washington, ending with a meaningful survivor balloon release. The occasion will also provide an opportunity for the Gift of Life to recognize 15 Angels Among Us honorees – exceptional ambassadors for the organization and voices of compassion and support for women and cancer survivors.

2017 Angels are: Doreen Borel; Cile Childress; Sandra Clark; Rita Davis; Linda Domino; Norma Forey; Pat Klein; Charlotte Mains; Dianne Marks; Pat McKee; Nell Morris; Melody Parsons; Zelma Reid; Judith Smith; and Jo Vance.

Walk participants are asked to make a $30 donation to benefit Gift of Life’s lifesaving breast health services and educational outreach. Breast, ovarian and other gynecological cancer survivors will enjoy complimentary admittance.

Gift of Life encourages community engagement through cheering stations, musical groups, wellness information, walk route entertainment and support. Please call Gift of Life at 409-833-3663 to make arrangements.

All proceeds from the event and the month-long regional campaign will benefit Gift of Life’s lifesaving programs that extend throughout a seven-county service area in Southeast Texas and provide vital healthcare and education for thousands of medically underserved Southeast Texas clients each year.

“Serving Southeast Texans for 23 years, Gift of Life ensures clients across Southeast Texas receive crucial health screenings and medical care, regardless of their ability to pay,” Sampson said. “Since inception, the organization has helped extend the lives of more than 275 individuals who have been diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer and navigated through treatment and healing. We are deeply grateful to the many sponsors who help fund our efforts and the volunteers, medical partners and community groups who are instrumental in our success.”

For event information, sponsorship opportunities or to register, please call the Gift of Life at 409.833.3663 or visit


Love Expressed | Love Understood: Overcoming the Healthcare Disparities of our Hispanic Neighbors

Imagine being in a new country, far from your friends and family, devoid of a stable income or health benefits, unable to converse fluently in the native language… and then finding a lump in your breast. Where would you go? What would you do? Who could you turn to?

This is the sad reality often confronted by numerous Gift of Life clients. Many of our Hispanic neighbors who have limited resources simply don’t know where to turn when faced with a health crisis.

This issue can be found throughout the United States and particularly in the state of Texas, which has the second largest Hispanic population in the United States (surpassed only by California), with 39% of its residents being of Hispanic descent. It is estimated that 31% of that population lacks health insurance.

Studies indicate that breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women in the United States. Breast cancer among Hispanic women in the United States is less likely to be diagnosed at a local, more treatable stage, and Hispanic women are less likely to receive appropriate and timely treatment in comparison to non-Hispanic white women.

The Gift of Life would like to improve upon those statistics. Between 2015 and 2016, the Gift of Life screened more than 1,200 Hispanic clients. This year, alone, more than 320 Hispanic clients have been provided free lifesaving Gift of Life screenings, with an average of 12 – 15 Hispanic women per site.

The Gift of Life strives to provide all Southeast Texans with compassionate care and lifesaving cancer screenings, regardless of ethnic, cultural or language barriers.

This holistic and comprehensive process begins with communication. Through the support of knowledgeable translators and interpreters, like Bernice Loza and Martha Suarez, the Gift of Life provides marketing, educational materials, applications and documents in Spanish, with bilingual staff readily available to answer questions and offer support.

Many non-English speaking Hispanic patients put off medical appointments until they can find a friend or family member who can accompany them and interpret. This barrier to care is alleviated at all Gift of Life screening sites where bilingual staff and volunteers are present to guide our clients through the screening process seamlessly and in their native language. At each site, Martha Suarez stands at the ready to translate every aspect of a client’s care and interpret for medical staff, ensuring that each woman is fully informed. Hispanic clients are provided the same breast health education as all other clients and are equally encouraged to seek early detection of cancer. To make it easy for all clients to have equal access to our free services, bilingual case workers help our clients overcome socioeconomic challenges, like lack of childcare and transportation, at every screening site, as needed.

Gift of Life Community Health Worker Bernice Loza is a remarkable resource for the complex challenges that can affect Hispanic women. She provides expert client navigation, offering additional support services that commonly affect our clients, along with access to organizations that can help them understand immigration laws and surmount unemployment, poverty and lack of healthcare.

Bernice is also a bilingual patient advocate who works with clients who have received a positive breast cancer diagnosis. Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be scary – for anyone! – but would be even more distressing if the information was shared in an unfamiliar language. The role Bernice plays in helping Spanish-speaking breast cancer clients understand their diagnosis, develop a treatment plan and communicate with hospitals and doctors is priceless. Love, care and concern is expressed and, most importantly, understood with her invaluable support.

Thanks, in part, to the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program Grant, the Gift of Life can retain knowledgeable and compassionate bilingual staff members who can assist our diverse clientele. Our skilled staff are empowered to reach out to local women in need and ensure that the limitations of language, culture or income do not prevent them from receiving the lifesaving screenings and support they need to live a healthy, happy life.

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2390 Dowlen Road
Beaumont, Texas 77706
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