“Everyone was very helpful and action-oriented,” describes Beverly. “It really eased my fears.”
“Playing” it Forward: How One Mother is Stepping Up for Women’s Health
Beverly Dreher doesn’t need to be convinced of the importance of annual mammograms. A member of the Yorba Linda Country Club, she always participated in the club’s annual golf tournament dedicated to friends who have passed away from breast cancer. When the tournament’s organizer also passed away from the disease, Beverly and other members stepped in to continue the fundraising efforts.
Soon after, Beverly’s daughter, Kim, was diagnosed with breast cancer. The news was devastating, but she was impressed with Kim’s care team at St. Jude from day one. “Everyone was very helpful and action-oriented,” describes Beverly. “It really eased my fears.”
Kim—a mother of two, pediatrician and avid runner—received word that something unusual was spotted on her annual mammogram. Kim intuitively sensed something was wrong when she was called back to St. Jude’s Kathryn T. McCarty Breast Center, a nationally-recognized Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. Kim’s grandmother had been diagnosed with breast cancer in her 40s, and she was aware of the implications. An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy confirmed Kim’s suspicion.
Fortunately, her cancer was detected early, and she had one of the nation’s top cancer treatment programs in her backyard. A multidisciplinary team at the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute developed a personalized treatment plan, starting with a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction which was performed in a single operation.
Following the procedure, Kim underwent chemotherapy and testing through St. Jude’s Cancer Genetics Program. That’s when Kim learned she has a gene that increases her risk of breast cancer, news that was difficult to hear, but nonetheless provided clarity into her health history.
Upon celebrating four years of survivorship, Kim feels blessed her cancer was caught early and that St. Jude was there for her every step of the way.
For Beverly, it reinforced her conviction that early detection is crucial. She organized her club’s latest golf tournament to benefit St. Jude’s campaign to bring state-of-the art, 3D mammography to its breast center. The technology is shown to improve detection rates by up to 41%, catching cancers when they are small and easier to treat. For the 30,000 women who receive mammograms each year at St. Jude, access to 3D mammography could be lifesaving.
The community’s investment is imperative in bringing 3D mammography to St. Jude. That’s why philanthropic efforts like Beverly’s and the members of Yorba Linda Country Club are invaluable. Through their tournament, which raised $18,000, they have joined with hundreds of other community supporters who have contributed a total of $2.6 million toward the $4.1 million project goal to date.
“Get involved,” urges Beverly. “Doing a fundraiser, big or small, is extremely rewarding. It’s an opportunity to share the importance of breast care and how having the latest technology can save and change lives.”
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