Mercy Hospital presents check to Breast Cancer Foundation
Staff sell pink ribbons, Sonic cards to help women with breast cancer
Mercy Hospital Cassville staff were pleased to present the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks with a check donation of $314.50 on Thursday.
The donation was a result of hospital staff and auxiliary members selling hand-made pink ribbons and Sonic gift cards during October to raise money, awareness and compassion for those enduring the disease of breast cancer, not just for the month of October, which is officially recognized as breast cancer awareness month, but all year long.
The ribbons were personally made by Stephanie Clymer, Mercy supply chain tech, in pink and a pink/camo combination, and sold for $1 each, and $5 gift cards were donated for sale by Sonic. Staff raised $164.50, and hospital auxiliary members raised $150, for a total of $314.50.
“We sold them here at the hospital, and at the front desk,” said Clymer, who has endured the loss of a family member to breast cancer. “I’ve had family call from Wisconsin wanting them, and customers from Oklahoma, so they have traveled and been shipped all over.”
“I was really glad to be able to help the cause,” said Bonnie Walker, Mercy auxiliary member said about helping to sell the pink ribbons. “We need to help everyone be aware of breast cancer and the effects it can have on others. I’m glad the auxiliary here was able to help.”
Staff have been making and selling the highly-recognized pink ribbons for about four years to help support women undergoing treatment for breast cancer through the services of the BCFO.
The Springfield-based organization, which was founded in 2000 by breast cancer survivor Mary Beth O’Reilly, assists women with free screening mammograms to help detect breast cancer, and is the only local organization that provides non-medical, practical financial support to women dealing with the disease, such as basic living expenses like gasoline and utilities.
BCFO provides services to clients in over 30 counties throughout southwest Missouri, and has helped both women and men diagnosed with breast cancer from the age of 25 to 80.
Kristi Seibert, BCFO outreach director, made a special trip to Cassville to accept the donation.
“It helps those going through cancer treatment with practical things like gas in their car or utility bills,” said Seibert. “And 100 percent of donations goes to the BCFO to help women. That’s important for people to know.
“The donation will make a huge difference to the families we help. Whether that money is used to pay for mammograms for someone that doesn’t have the means, and we may detect a cancer that way — it’s a really big win.”
As a breast cancer survivor herself, Seibert can directly relate to the families she serves.
“I go out and work with the families, so I see how much the donations help,” she said.
But she also sees the tragedy and heartbreak breast cancer can bring, including the loss of young mothers to the disease.
“Young women losing their lives, and mothers who don’t get to raise their children, that breaks your heart,” she said. “So, we go out and try to educate and just let everyone know, ‘Don’t go without a mammogram.’ We are very appreciative of the efforts Mercy staff have made, and grateful to Mercy Hospital. They take good care of patients.”
For more information about and help with obtaining and scheduling a mammogram, or BCFO’s services, they can be reached at 417-862-3838.