Genesis Health System and the Genesis Health Services Foundation will kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their second annual Gather for the Cure on Saturday, October 8 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Scott County Park’s Whispering Pines Indoor Shelter, 18850 270th Street in Eldridge.

Guests can sign the Pink Heals firetruck, enjoy food and beverages and visit vendors and retailers. Iowa State Troopers with be selling breast cancer awareness patches.

Breast cancer survivor Angela Mattke will share a message of hope before a one mile walk and bubble blowing event in memory of those lost and those still fighting breast cancer. Retired Isabel Bloom sculptures and the newest Isabel Bloom “Fight Like a Girl” ornament will be for sale at the event.

Money raised from the event will be used by the Genesis Foundation to help fill a funding gap created when the Susan G. Komen organization ended financial support to voucher programs in the Quad-Cities region in 2021. The funds needed to meet the demand is an estimated $50,000 annually.

“There isn’t a single person who hasn’t been touched by breast cancer,” said Diane Koster, Genesis Women’s Health Grant Program Specialist. “This event helps us build support for our community to fight breast cancer with the hope to continue for many years until we never lose someone again.”

Genesis has been administering the Voucher Program since 2001, providing no-cost mammograms and ultrasounds in a timely and efficient manner.

From July 2020 through December 2021:

  • 328 individuals accessed the Voucher Program (148 Iowa residents, 180 Illinois residents)
  • 73 patients received multiple exams covered by the Voucher Program
  • 215 screening mammograms covered
  • 81 diagnostic mammograms covered
  • 95 diagnostic breast ultrasounds covered
  • $58,400 paid out to cover breast health services

According to the American Cancer Society, there were an estimated 2,770 new cases of female breast cancer in Iowa and 11,340 new cases of female breast cancer in Illinois in 2021.

“These are not just statistics. These are real people. Your mother, sister, daughter, friend,” said Koster. “Together, we can impact these numbers and decrease deaths from breast cancer by supporting the Voucher Program.”

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