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Gift of Life and Winners for Life: Saving Lives in Southeast Texas

August 2, 2016

Thanks to the extraordinary support of Winners for Life, 34 medically underserved Southeast Texas women received free preventative health screenings, clinical breast exams and mammograms from the Gift of Life.

Winners for Life was formed in Port Arthur in 2003 by Father Larry Gutierrez as a small subcommittee with Sacred Heart – Saint Mary Parish’s education program. The group strives to educate women about breast cancer, raise funds to help provide free Gift of Life mammograms and serve as a support system for women battling the disease.

Previously under the direction of the late Winnie Frelow, EdD, a beloved breast cancer survivor who served as chairperson and passed away in 2013 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, Winners for Life represents several religious denominations and has blossomed into a committee of more than 50 members. Current chairperson Elvira Narcisse furthers Frelow’s mission to positively influence individuals affected by breast cancer through her tireless dedication.

Winners for Life members with Gift of Life client

Over the years, the Gift of Life has done so much to create awareness for women to check their breasts to detect early incidence of breast cancer. – Fr. Sampson Etim, MSP, Pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church

For more than 10 years, committed Winners for Life members have participated in grassroots fundraising for the Gift of Life breast cancer program – hosting bake sales, garage sales and silent auctions, as well as a yearly luncheon and seminar, which is attended by more than 250 individuals.

To recognize Winners for Life’s invaluable support, Gift of Life has designated the organization as a sponsor of the UTMB Mobile Mammography Van at which nearly 60 medically underserved individuals have received free clinical breast exams and mammograms during the past two years. Winners for Life was also honored with the Gift of Life’s prestigious Georgie Volz Shine a Light Award for its extraordinary commitment to illuminate the lives of those battling cancer.

Gift of Life client with Judith Smith, RN

The Gift of Life is also fortunate to have the support of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, a program that strives to increase awareness of the lifesaving benefits of early detection of breast cancer.  For six years, the Gift of Life has benefited from funding through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade’s Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP), which funds 56 community outreach and breast cancer screening programs nationwide in an effort to link medically underserved women to breast health education and screening services. Low-income, under-insured, and other marginalized populations often need targeted, customized approaches to help them obtain regular mammograms and clinical breast exams. Through the Avon BHOP, the Gift of Life is empowered to offer these lifesaving services throughout seven Southeast Texas counties.

With the support of Winners for Life, Avon BHOP and other generous donors, the Gift of Life has helped extend the lives of more than 275 Southeast Texans who have been diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer and treated through its efforts.

The Gift of Life is accepting new client applications. FREE mammograms and clinical breast exams are provided to women with limited income and who do not have private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, or whose insurance has a high deductible.

To find out if you qualify for a free mammogram, please call the Gift of Life at 409.833.3663 or toll-free at (877) 720-GIFT (4438), or fill out the form below.

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