Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Exceeds Goal by Providing Over 100 Free Mammograms to Uninsured Women AT ESSENCE Festival
Breast Cancer Survivors Provide Testimonials to Importance of Early Detection
New Orleans, LA (July 8, 2019) – Music, mingling and mammograms filled the weekend during the 25th Essence Festival in New Orleans, LA July 5-7. Essence organizers delivered the music for concert goers and stars to mingle with, while Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® provided a record 107 free mammography screenings to women, including visitors and local residents. The sorority’s initial goal was to provide 70 free 3D mammograms to uninsured women with the traveling Alpha Kappa Alpha Mobile Mammography Unit at the event.
“The response to our mobile unit during the ESSENCE Festival was unbelievable. This reinforced our commitment to continue offering this free service throughout the country,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha International President Glenda Glover.
“We know that for women under the age of 45, breast cancer is more common among African American women than any other race. This why Alpha Kappa Alpha’s breast cancer awareness initiative is so vitally important as we educate and empower our communities, and ultimately change that statistic.”
In addition to the free mammograms, more than 2,000 women toured the 3D mammography unit to receive breast cancer awareness education and information. Sorority leadership and members spoke about the importance of early detection from the ESSENCE Center Stage during presentations on Saturday and Sunday to packed audiences. Sorority member Denise Juluke and Anjanette Brown-Perkins gave powerful testimonials of their triumph over breast cancer, encouraging women to take action now.
“I was initially diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2016. On top of this devastating news, one of my younger brothers had unexpectedly died two weeks earlier, and my husband’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer three years before me,” shared Juluke. “What really threw me for a curve ball was being told later that the Stage 2 cancer was actually aggressive Stage 3. I had a bilateral mastectomy and am alive today because I had regular mammograms.”
Brown-Perkins was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer exactly one year after her mother was diagnosed with the same disease. “Having taken care of my mother when she went through her cancer treatment prepared me for my journey. As women, we always are taking care of others. I urge women to make the time to take care of your health. Early detection does save lives,” says Brown-Perkins. “If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the people you love and who love you.”
Alpha Kappa Alpha is committed to addressing critical issues that impact the quality of life throughout the world, including women’s healthcare and wellness. The international service organization has partnered with Assured Imaging to provide the screenings. The sorority’s goal is to reach 100,000 women over the next four years to share information concerning breast cancer, increase awareness regarding the risk factors that contribute to breast cancer, and provide access to mammograms. Since the mobile unit was launched in October 2018, it has visited seven cities and more than 400 patients have received a free mammogram screening. Nearly 20% of the patients screened were abnormal and referred for further testing to a healthcare provider by Assured Imaging.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is currently planning new stops for the tour, as the sorority continues its focus on awareness and prevention of breast cancer, which disproportionately impacts African-American women. Digital mammograms are recommended for women who are at least 40 years of age, have not had a previous mammogram in the past year, and do not have breast problems or complaints. Women between the ages of 35 and 39 can receive one baseline mammogram screening without an order.
For more information regarding eligibility or to schedule a mammogram, go to http://www.assuredimaging.com/AKA or call 888-233-6121.