Seven years ago, Patty Marschel didn’t know what to do after hearing about her best friend’s breast cancer diagnosis.
But she knew she had to do something.
It dawned on Patty that perhaps all of her golf-playing female friends would come together to help raise some money so more women could get the early screenings they might need.
Then she pulled in some tennis-playing friends. Rita Ash and Leslie Akins joined forces with Patty, there was a wine and cheese party the next year and the name Power of Pink was born. After four years, the event was just too big for a few women to handle, and Patty, Rita and Leslie asked the MTMC Foundation to help.
In 2011 more than 400 people packed a local home, raising $82,000 to fund the 2011 Power of Pink. Those funds were spent within the past twelve months, providing 340 mammograms to local indigent women, two $3,000 biopsies, $15,000 to the “Our Mission in Motion” mobile mammography coach as it travels to Rutherford County, and $15,000 for part of the local nurse navigator’s salary.
Crammed into that house that night just a year ago, Patty and her good friends Rita and Leslie looked at each other and knew they had to do something different. There just wasn’t a house in Murfreesboro big enough to hold everybody any more.
“Don’t we all know someone close to us who has been diagnosed with breast cancer---a grandmother, mother, sister, wife, relative or friend?” said WATS Co-Chair Marschel. “When you stop and think about it, you realize it could just as easily have been you. And then the next thing you realize is there is something you can do to help, because we all know that screening mammograms save lives. That’s what we are doing here, working hard on this event for the seventh year in a row, working to help save the lives of all women in our community.”
Over the past seven years, dozens of people have gotten involved; this year a committee of 45 local women are working together to expand the MTMC Foundation’s Power of Pink Wine Around the Square (WATS) to new heights. This year, they’re taking Power of Pink to the streets.
This year, the “house” is the public Square in downtown Murfreesboro, and there are 800 tickets available for the Friday, Sept. 21 progressive wine tasting and juried art show and sale. The $75 per-person ticket also includes appetizers, an etched wine glass and live music.
“It’s going to be a great night that is a lot of fun,” said WATS Co-Chair Rita Ash. “We’re starting at Pinnacle Bank for check-in and where the art show and sale will be, and then we’ll all fan out around the downtown Square at 16 different locations to taste a wide variety of wines, enjoy some appetizers and listen to live music. It’s a fun, casual evening, and we want to invite the entire community to join us. Bring your friends, have fun and do something good for the women of our community at the same time.”
This year, the fund-raising goal is $120,000---all to provide local women who are uninsured, underinsured and indigent with a screening mammogram, support the St. Thomas Health/Susan G. Komen/Power of Pink “Our Mission in Motion” mobile mammography coach and pay a portion of the nurse navigator’s salary.
Funds raised in past years have helped bring the very first mobile mammography coach to Rutherford County---taking the equipment and technology directly to where the women who need it are located.
“’Our Mission In Motion’ increases availability and affordability of screening mammography services in Rutherford County through grant funding,” said Lori Ward, “Our Mission in Motion” program coordinator.
“Women in our community who are underinsured or uninsured are less likely to have a mammogram or follow-up due to their fears of not being able to afford these lifesaving tests. If Power of Pink could raise enough funds to cover biopsies, we can better serve the uninsured women in our community by assuring them that there is assistance available, should it get that far.”
“We know the need is great,” said Anne Davis, WATS Event Co-Chair and Major Gifts Director at the Middle Tennessee Medical Center Foundation.
“Every year, we use all of the funds we raise to make sure that any Rutherford County woman who needs one gets a screening mammogram. We need to expand our services to biopsies because once a problem is identified, the next step is a biopsy. And if you can’t afford a mammogram, you certainly can’t afford a much more expensive biopsy.”
What is Mobile Mammography? The “Our Mission in Motion” mobile mammography unit is mammography on wheels, a coach measuring 41 feet long, 14 feet high, 10 ½ feet wide. There is a reception area, an exam room, and a state-of-the-art digital mammography room. Approximately 25 women can be seen in a four-hour period. The only thing that happens in the mobile unit is the initial screening. Lori Ward is the Mobile Mammography Program Coordinator.
Mammograms provided via the MTMC Foundation’s Power of Pink:
- 2010—304 mammograms
- 2011—340 mammograms
- The need is growing, as fewer women have health insurance provided or it is more costly if provided, and as health insurance benefits decline even for those who are insured.
Cost per mammogram:
$133.00 Bilateral Screening with CAD includes interpretation
$116.00 Unilateral Diagnostic includes interpretation
- $140.00 Bilateral Diagnostic includes interpretation
Cost for a biopsy:
The Process: The arrival of the Mobile Mammography unit is broadcast to the community in which it will be testing. This is a key component—letting the public know the service is available. Women come to the unit and receive the mammogram and an 8 to 10-minute exam. Then, the mammogram is sent to a radiologist to be read. When the results are returned, a direct letter is sent to each woman with results of the mammogram. A phone call is placed to women who have abnormal results, along with assistance for the next level of service. The patient is then referred to a doctor, if she does not have one already chosen for themselves, who can direct a diagnostic exam. If the results continue to point to the likelihood of breast cancer, the woman is then sent for a biopsy. Ten percent of all screening mammography exams result in additional follow-up. In 2011 alone, Saint Thomas Health diagnosed over 940 breast cancer cases.
What is a Nurse Navigator: The Nurse Navigator is a licensed nurse who provides knowledge and emotional support to those women who receive an abnormal result on their mammogram. The Nurse Navigator becomes a friend and helper to the patient, helping the patient to navigate this unknown territory after a biopsy has been performed and the patient diagnosed positively with breast cancer. The Nurse Navigator assists the patient by providing resources to facilitate treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. Carole Williams is the Nurse Navigator for the MTMC Center for Breast Health and handles referring women to the MTMC Foundation for financial support.
Stories from women:
Tanya -- Less than a week after thanksgiving, Tanya was at home with her son, Noah, when the phone rang. It was her doctor, calling with the results of her biopsy: breast cancer.
“It was a kick in the gut”, she recalls. “The first thing I thought about was Noah. He knew my father had died from cancer, and I didn’t want him to know I had it…and to think I was going to die…but I was sure I was.”
Conquering her fears, Tanya fought her cancer with courage. She found an unexpected gift when she met breast health nurse navigator Carole Williams.
“The empathy that Carole has shown me has been wonderful,” explains Tanya. “When I cried, she cried with me.” Carole was able to help Tanya take some control over her chaotic situation, giving her literature and sharing practical advice.
Lindsey, MTMC nurse: Lindsey is a single mother of three who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age 28.
She recalls receiving the call from Dr. Beard. “I was in the MTMC nursery holding a baby when I received the call. I knew before he said the words that my biopsy had come back positive for cancer.”
After a bilateral mastectomy and eight rounds of chemotherapy, Lindsey had to take quite a bit of time off from work to recover. With three small children, she decided to swallow her pride and approach the Foundation for help.
The Foundation was able to provide help with her utilities and prescriptions and some gift cards for groceries. Lindsey says her children are her pride and joy, and she knew she had to fight for them and never give up.
“Miracles happen,” said Lindsey. Today, she is cancer-free and working and loving life. Her mission is to educate women that it doesn’t matter how young you are. We should all place an emphasis on the importance of self-exams.
About MTMC Foundation’s Power of Pink Wine Around the Square
Wine Around The Square is a casual, fun, outdoor evening that will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 with live music, appetizers, a juried art show and sale, and wine-tasting venues throughout downtown Murfreesboro around the historic Public Square.
Visit mtmc.org/powerofpink to purchase your tickets, which are $75 each. The ticket price at the door will be $85 if any tickets remain the day of the event. Only 800 tickets are available, so purchase soon!
The Sept. 21 event will begin at Pinnacle Financial Partners at 114 West College Street. Paid guests will check in there, receive a Wine Around the Square etched signature wine glass, enjoy the evening’s first wine tasting, sample passed hors d’oeuvres and receive instructions for the evening.
Local artist and breast cancer survivor Caryl Witt is chairing the art show, which will feature selections from 9 regional artists for viewing and sale in the Pinnacle lobby. Thirty percent of the proceeds of these art sales will benefit the 2012 Power of Pink.
Throughout the evening, guests will taste a variety of different wines in 16 downtown shops, attorneys’ offices and boutiques throughout the central portion of the Square. Each tasting station will be staffed with volunteers who will describe and pour wine as well as offer a water rinse of the wine glasses before visitors proceed to the next station. Live music will be playing at multiple outdoor venues throughout the evening.
Wine Around the Square will proceed rain or shine. To ensure a safe ride home, event organizers will alert local cab companies to make cabs available in a central location for those guests who prefer to take a cab home at the end of the evening.
Event sponsors include Middle Tennessee Medical Center, Dr. Payne Hardison, Dr. Mark Hardison, Dr. Jeff Warden/Middle Tennessee Oral & Implant Surgery, Bina and Charlie Patel/Stones River Total Beverages, Leslie and Dr. Mark Akin & Vicki and Dr. Stephen Rich/Mid-State Surgery, MidState Radiology Inc., Tennessee Oncology, the Honorable Don Ash and Rita Ash/Bob Parks Realty, Kelly Baum, Sylvia Beckman/Beckman’s Prescription Shop, Bishop Dental Office/ Drs. Melanie and James Bishop, Mrs. Wordna Black, Sherry and Don Carpenter, Bill and Betty Childress, Comprehensive Breast Center of MMC, Anne and Jeff Davis, Linda and Dave Davis, Peter and Kristin Demos, Family Staffing Solutions, Inc., Gordon and Cindy Ferguson, Emil and Lilly Hassan, Jim and Laura Holland/HG Staffing, First Tennessee Bank, General Mills, Bob and Ginger Ingle, Jennings and Ayers Funeral Home, Kathy and Bill Jones, Dr. and Mrs. Michael Jordan, Jeri and Bob Lamb/Exit Realty, LaRoche Family Foundation, Sally and William Ledbetter, Joe and Billie Little, Libby Long, MD, Andrea and Ed Loughry, Dr. and Mrs. Fred Lovelace, Paula and Rick Mansfield, John and Patty Marschel, Beverly and Warren McPherson, MidSouth Bank, Bob and Mary Dodd Mifflin, Mr. and Mrs. Edward E. Miller, Jr. Dr. and Mrs. G. Britt Mioton, Charlotte and Newton Molloy, Dr. and Mrs. Michael Moran, Dr. Mary Moss, MTMC Emergency Physicians, Murfree & Murfree, PLLC, Attorneys-at-Law, Dr. Sean Fox/Murfreesboro Dental Excellence, G. Ron and Judy Nichols, Nikken Construction LLC/Nicole and Michael Bird, Roy and Linda Palmer, Ben and Maggie Parsley, Ann Nora and Myers Parsons, Peddler Gifts and Interiors, Joe and Judy Powell, Tom Provow/Evergreen Consulting, Dr. Liz Rhea, Carty and Jim Roberts, Kathy and Pat Ryan, Dan and Margaret Scott, Barry and Melanie Shipp, Betsy and Jeff Slaney, Dr. Ellen and Mr. Richard Slicker, Dr. Pat and Margie Spangler, Terri Sterling/Sterling Communications, Janet Stankwytch, Dr. and Mrs. Nick Tarola/Tarola Plastic Surgery, The Honorable and Mrs. Royce Taylor, Addiesue Webb, Woodfin Funeral Chapels - Murfreesboro and Smyrna.
Media sponsors include The Daily News Journal, The Murfreesboro Post, WGNS Radio, Nashville-area Clear Channel radio stations, Murfreesboro Magazine and VIP Murfreesboro.