The West Virginia affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out nearly $275,000 in grant money on Monday. It went to nine organizations across the state that fight breast cancer.
Rebecca Newhouse, the past board president of the WV affiliate, says these are dollars that make a difference.
“This is the money that definitely saves the lives that would have fallen through many gaps,” explained Newhouse.
Grant County received funding to go toward their breast cancer outreach project. Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown will use its money to fund free mammograms. The West Virginia University Foundation at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center will reach out to women of color with their funding.
Newhouse says many of these are programs wouldn’t happen without the Komen grants. She stresses, the applicants go through a very rigorous process just to qualify for the funding.
“Part of the competitive process is to ensure that they are using all of the available funding so that we’re filling in the gaps,” Newhouse said.
She says in West Virginia many women don’t have access to preventative care. They want to reach out to as many people as possible.
“If you look around any room or ask any group of people, they have a connection to breast cancer, whether it’s an aunt, a grandmother, a mother, a sister,” Newhouse said.
Every 19 seconds someone new is diagnosed with the disease. The counties with the highest breast cancer rates are McDowell, Clay and Mason.
Funding for the grants comes from events like the West Virginia Race for the Cure, which will be held this Saturday in Charleston. For more information, you can log on to www.komenwv.org.