“You have breast cancer.”
These are the four words no woman wants to hear. But that is exactly what Terri Andrews and Laura Renegar were told.
Andrews is an information communications technology director of RSM US LLP, America’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Renegar, an American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery volunteer and regular visitor to Jamaica.
Both women have partnered with the Jamaica Cancer Society to bring free mammography screening to 200 underserved women living in St Ann.
RSM is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2016 and in recognition of this achievement, launched its 90-90-9 programme designed to encourage employees to “pursue their passions”.
The programme encourages employees to celebrate the company’s anniversary by applying for an opportunity to pursue their passions with monetary support and paid vacation from the company. Nine employees were chosen and each awarded US$10,000 and nine additional paid vacation days.
During a special luncheon hosted by the members of the Jamaica Cancer Society St Ann/St Mary Branch to celebrate the success of the project and to honour cancer survivors, Yulit Gordon, executive director of the Jamaica Cancer Society, shared that the Society “was truly grateful to these angels of hope for choosing Jamaica to benefit from this special gift”.
Gordon added: “Not only are the women benefiting from free mammography screening, but those women who present with abnormal results will also benefit from free ultrasounds and biopsies, where necessary.”
She said that each year, approximately 300 Jamaican families lose loved ones to breast cancer, which continues to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Jamaican women.
Jamaican Olympian and breast cancer survivor Novlene Williams-Mills endorsed the project by donating 200 signed letters along with 200 autographed posters to the Jamaica Cancer Society for the 200 women receiving their mammograms.
The letters were saluting, encouraging and congratulating the ladies for having the courage to do their mammograms.
Radcliffe Walters, custos emeritus of St Ann and volunteer with the Jamaica Cancer Society, in offering remarks, shared that he welcomed the collaboration and hoped that the ladies would make it an annual event.