Last year, more than 500 local women benefited from information, diagnostic services and breast cancer treatment provided by Project Mammogram. Those numbers would not have been possible without support from the community and volunteers who work year-round. Project Mammogram, a project begun and founded by the Kingwood Women’s Club, recently honored those volunteers and supporters at the annual celebration luncheon, held at Italiano’s Restaurant in Humble. “We owe so much to these volunteers,” said Project Director Joyce White. Although the Project began in April of 2001, tracking volunteer hours began in 2003 and records show a total of 6,602 hours logged. The volunteers and associates were welcomed to the luncheon by Norman Funderburk, president of Northeast Hospital Foundation, and Memorial Hermann Northeast CEO Louis Smith. White said that program started when the Kingwood Women’s Club offered $1,000 to help offset the cost of medical services for cancer patients with little or no insurance. After meeting with White, and learning more about the program, Kingwood Women’s Club decided to increase the contribution to $5,000 in seed money for the new program. Judy Thigpen, who represented the Club, said the Susan G. Komen Foundation Breast Cancer Foundation and the Kingwood Women’s Club are the two primary sources of funds for the program, which helps provide financial assistance for women who would not otherwise have the resources to deal with their breast cancer. The money donated by the Club is raised during the Club’s Preview Party/Holiday Marketplace, an annual holiday gift sale and fundraiser held at the Humble Civic Center. It was also noted that two-thirds of the volunteer hours logged by Project Mammogram volunteers are logged by Women’s Club members. “This is a community effort,” said White, who thanked Memorial Hermann Hospital for providing a place for them to work and to Dr. Neelofur Ahmad of Memorial Hermann Cancer Center Northeast for overseeing the program. An additional thanks went to nurse Toni Schau, and to Pat Dames and Christie Owen with The Rose, a health care facility that refers clients to Project Mammogram. Benefit recipient Toni Trigg was referred to Project Mammogram through The Rose and was present to put a face to program recipients. “I never thought I would qualify for a medical sponsorship,” said Trigg, “But I filled out the form and they referred me to Project Mammogram for treatment.” White said that Trigg is the first beneficiary of a $20,000 grant that will pay for a full round of chemotherapy. She said they would not have been able to provide such comprehensive treatment had it not been for reduced rates offered by hospitals and the volunteers providing services, allowing the Project to stretch every dollar as far as possible. Trigg drives from Houston to her treatments at Memorial Hermann Northeast, where she is halfway through her six-week program and doing well. “I am so grateful for all the help I’ve received,” said Trigg. In addition to providing health care, White thanked volunteers in the program who provide assistance by serving as interpreters. White thanked Berenice Hutton for going above and beyond what was required. Not only did Hutton take and translate medical histories for the nurses, but she has also established a 1-800 number at her home to assist patients who come through the program but need additional or continued help with their cancer or other health issues. “We are continuing to grow and always trying to find new ways of letting people know that we are here to provide the help they need,” said White. Since 2001, Project Mammogram has provided financial assistance for more than 3,484 applicants. It has paid out more than $263,923 for services. The program serves individuals in Montgomery, Harris, Liberty, San Jacinto and Polk Counties. Services provided by Project Mammogram 1,672 – Screening Mamograms 399 – Diagnostic Mammograms 404 – Ultrasounds 62 – Procedures Including Biopsies 2 – Surgeries Photo: Joyce White, Project Mammogram director, thanks volunteers for their hours of service. To her right is translator Berenice Hutton. Photo by Kathy Parks

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