Martha Jefferson Reaches Milestone in Fundraising Efforts - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Reaches Milestone in Fundraising Efforts

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The Women's Committee of Martha Jefferson Hospital has reached a new milestone in their fundraising efforts this fall.

The 19th Annual Martha's Market and the 10th Annual In The Pink Tennis Tournament, the committee's two major fundraisers, raised a total of $424,000.

The money will go toward free breast cancer screenings, offered twice a year.

Linda Payne attributes her current health to a Martha Jefferson free Breast Health Screening Day in 2001.

"I am cancer-free—10 years—so I'm excited about that anniversary," Payne said.

At the time of the screening, Payne was unemployed and without insurance, and she found out she had stage one breast cancer.

"I was lucky that the mammogram was free, I was lucky they found it with early detection because I was only stage one, and I was lucky because every woman's life took care of all my health care," said Payne.

The Every Woman's Life program, which has clinic locations at Martha Jefferson Hospital and at the University of Virginia Health System, provides free breast and cervical cancer screening for eligible women.

"We have a great community hospital and we just want to support women and having access to what they need to remain healthy and strong members of our community," said Kathy Fender, Women's Committee chair.

The success of the committee's fundraisers means people like Payne will have access to the community's women's health resources.

"I was telling my daughter, every time you see someone wearing a pink ribbon and you know a cancer survivor you need to tell them thank you," Payne said. "And even if you know someone who's had cancer that hasn't been lucky enough to survive, they need to say thank you because we don't know how they got that cancer or how it was diagnosed but this program really saves lives and they saved mine."

Payne and the Women's Committee say that early detection of breast cancer is key. The free Breast Health Screening Days are held twice a year, and the next one will be in April.

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