By Joseph Hamrick
Currenty, 50 percent of women do not receive their annual mammogram, but Dee Hilton, board campaign coordinator of Help on Wheels, said his team is working to change that.
“If detected at stage one, the survival rate for breast cancer is 90 percent,” he said on Wednesday at the Hunt Regional Healthcare Center. “Our objective is to make mammograms available and convenient to the women of Hunt County.”
Hilton said the board began looking at several ways it could make a contribution to the hospital before coming across the Help on Wheels.
“We looked at three different projects and were about to come to a decision until a mobile mammography project was introduced,” he said. “With an emphasis on cancer treatment and the needs of breast cancer, we felt this was the right choice.”
According to Hilton, the board did not know exactly how much the project would cost, but he said the members were committed to see it complete.
“This probably will prove to be a little more expensive than the board can afford,” he said. “So we are reaching out to other organizations to complete it.”
Bill Rolston, co-chair of the Help on Wheels Campaign, said the foundation is two-thirds of the way to complete the project to purchase the mobile mammogram machine.
“Nearly $200,000 of the $300,000 of the funds needed have been raised,” he said. “I have no doubt we will raise the funds necessary for completion.”
Rolston said he is excited about the machine coming to the hospital because it will have a large impact on the community.
“This will have a real world impact on early detection,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for the community to deal with a serious health issue.”
According to Roselyn Lane, chairman of the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation Board of Trustees, the mobile mammogram machine should be purchased and operational between the first and second quarter of 2013.