Halt Cancer at X and Save a Sister
Two nonprofits laser-focused on the prevention and treatment of breast cancer
When Trina Freese developed breast cancer at just 32, she was terrified, but she found a way to turn her trial into a triumph.
Trina, at the young age of 32, went to a genetic counselor to evaluate her chances of getting breast cancer. With cancer in her family and now having a family of her owns she wanted to know what might be in her future. The genetic counselor told Trina that in the event that she tested positive there would be surgeries she would have to undergo — a double mastectomy, hysterectomy and possibly more. This was terrifying for her, so she ignored the advice. It was only a couple of months later that she found a lump on her breast and soon found out it was cancer.
“At that point in time all of the fears spiraled down on me.”
As Trina began treatment, her sister Tami went ahead with genetic testing, fortunately she moved forward with all of the recommended preventive steps to prevent her developing breast cancer.
Tami said this about her sister Trina, “I would say my sister is brave and strong. She is amazing, I love my sister! Taking care of it ahead of the game is way easier than finding out that you have cancer and knowing you could have done something about it.”
Trina’s story exemplifies why Halt Cancer at X is passionate about supporting both national cancer research and local resources like Save a Save a SisterTM Montana and the Cancer Support & Survivorship program at Kalispell Regional Healthcare. The money goes to being able to reach out to these women and provide financial resources for genetic counseling.
Beginning in January 2017, with a generous grant from Halt Cancer at X (HCX), Save A Save a SisterTM started the high-risk breast cancer screening program. Between January to May 2017, 176 patients were identified as high-risk via this program.
- All were contacted by a nurse navigator.
- 26 women had a visit with our genetic counselor.
- 18 have visits pending.
- 45 women did not meet the threshold for high risk according to the calculation, but did have one or more factors that were suspicious for a genetic syndrome, all were contacted and 13 made appointments with genetic counselors.
Since its inception in 2008, Save a SisterTM has provided 1,135 screening and diagnostic mammograms, for women and men. Additionally there have been 324 ultrasounds, 12 biopsies and 179 lymphedema garments.
HCX is an initiative which is the brain child of Sarah Broussard in loving memory of her mother, Rebecca Chaney Broussard, who lost her battle to breast cancer in 2010. Since its beginning in 2012, HCX has awarded more than $130,000 to organizations in the Flathead Valley which seek to assist with screening for breast cancer, address unmet needs for those receiving active treatment for breast cancer, and help survivors and families on their journey to healing.
Every woman received important information about level of risk, and many were given the advice that an affected family member should be tested. The joint effort of these two nonprofit organizations has already impacted hundreds. Both organizations would like to remind everyone that early detection can save lives with a 98 to 99 percent survival rate.
Changing lives through philanthropy
Philanthropy may be a donation of time and/or money. No matter how you choose to give back, know that your gift helps to offer our community lifesaving equipment, patient support, improved facilities and access to quality health care. Thank you for helping us improve the health, comfort and life of our community.
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