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YWCA employee turned client gets free mammogram that saves her life

10/20/2021, Georgia CORE

Sheila Hamilton, YWCA’s Nurtrition Manager of 22 years, was closing up the kitchen one night and getting ready to go home when Thomasine Leachman, YWCA’s program director asked her if she had ever had a mammogram. The YWCA was conducting free screenings that Saturday funded by Georgia’s Breast Cancer License Tag program and granted by Georgia CORE. 

“Everybody loves Sheila,” says Thomasine. “So when she said she had never had a mammogram, and was 58 years old, I had to convince her to get one.”

Sheila admits it was a beautiful Saturday morning and she didn’t want to go back up to the YWCA to get that mammogram. But get it she did, and it saved her life. The screening revealed a lump which meant that Sheila would be referred to the YWCA’s partner organization, the Center for Black Women’s Wellness and also a Georgia CORE grantee, to get a clinical breast exam. A biopsy then confirmed Sheila had Stage 1 breast cancer.

That was 2016 and Sheila has been cancer free ever since. “Sheila is a model for what early detection is all about,” says Thomasine. 

“We are so grateful for the Breast Cancer License Tag grant and for our partnerships with groups like Georgia CORE and CBWW,” she adds. "It’s this collaboration that makes early detection and a continuum of care for underinsured women like Sheila possible.”

 

 

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Advancing Cancer Care through Partnerships and Innovation

Georgia CORE is a statewide nonprofit that leverages partnerships and innovation to attract more clinical trials, increase research, and promote education and early detection to improve cancer care for Georgians in rural, urban, and suburban communities across the state.