The Rose is Not Giving Up this Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Houston, TX [September 28, 2020] – This is an unprecedented period in history: a global pandemic coupled with a sharp economic downturn and devastating losses for so many. During a time when it’s tempting to despair, hideaway, and delay annual health screenings, The Rose refuses to give up on its life-saving mission. This October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), The Rose remains committed to overcoming breast healthcare barriers through its theme, “Not Giving Up”.
Research indicates that 80,000 cancer diagnoses have been missed this year, and one model predicts there will be 10,000 more deaths from breast and colorectal cancer in the coming years. Fear of COVID-19 coupled with economic instability has pushed many to cancel or delay routine screenings like mammograms, but The Rose will not give up on saving lives, the uninsured, or on raising needed funds to support her, him, and us.
Dorothy Gibbons, co-founder of The Rose, was 22 when she lost her mother to cervical cancer that was discovered too late. Upon her mother’s death, a devastated Dorothy was left alone and responsible for her siblings. Fifteen years later, Dorothy changed the course of her life and the lives of thousands of people when she and Dr. Dixie Melillo founded The Rose. They advocated for mammograms when others thought they were a frivolous expense; they highlighted the plight of the uninsured when others never gave them a thought and for women to be given a choice about next steps for cancer care. They advocated for women of color, women in poverty, and women for whom English is a second language.
Today, The Rose is fighting to make sure the pandemic will not prevent any Texans from being screened for breast cancer and treated.
“It’s critically important to make an appointment with The Rose and get screened regardless of your ability to pay,” says Gibbons. “Our doors are open, and we are not giving up. The Rose is open six days a week, and we are here to take care of as many women as possible.” She adds, “Every three insured patients who have a mammogram, funds one uninsured patient’s screening mammogram. It’s a great way to get premier healthcare while you pay it forward to someone in need. Our greatest fear is that the newly uninsured will become another casualty of COVID-19. Those who recently lost their jobs and their employer sponsored healthcare coverage will delay their routine screenings.”
The Rose depends on support from the community to continue providing early detection mammography screenings, diagnosis, treatment, and a continuum of care for all women. There are several ways to help. In addition to scheduling a mammogram and encouraging others to do so, third-party fundraising: volunteer-led events or activities that benefit The Rose, are a key contributor to its success. Community members are encouraged to participate in events like Rudy’s Pink Cup, Tanger Pink Card, 30 for Ana, Jump for The Rose and many more events scheduled for September through November. In addition, The Rose’s Pink Ribbon campaign will provide donors with a pink ribbon that will be awarded virtually and placed at The Rose. To learn more about The Rose’s mission and to donate, visit TheRose.org/notgivingup.
About The Rose
As a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, The Rose is one of only 14 Breast Centers in the greater Houston area to receive this designation. Led by Fellowship trained physicians, The Rose’s advanced digital technology includes 3-D tomosynthesis mammography, diagnostic work-ups including biopsies and its nationally recognized Patient Navigation Program ensures access to treatment and a continuum of care for all women. Since 1986, The Rose has led strong advocacy efforts for quality breast healthcare, and been on the forefront of innovation in breast healthcare. As a major specialty care provider within the Healthcare Safety Net system, The Rose is considered to be a leading nonprofit in breast healthcare. Annually, The Rose serves 40,000 insured and uninsured women and men. With two Houston-based comprehensive Breast Diagnostic Centers and a Mobile Mammography Health Program, The Rose provides services to women throughout 41 counties in Southeast Texas.