Support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and organizations all over the country are passionately working to raise awareness of the importance of annual mammograms. Mammograms Annually A Must (M.A.A.M.) is a local volunteer group founded by the Centra Foundation dedicated to doing just that.

M.A.A.M. was founded in 2003 and has successfully provided over 1,500 mammograms for women in the Lynchburg area who would not have been able to afford them otherwise, according to Centra’s January 2011 newsletter.

“Through our screenings, we’ve found women who have had early-stage breast cancer,” Executive Vice President of the Centra Foundation Kathryn Pumphrey said.

In 2010, 177 free mammograms were given and three cancers were discovered, according to the January newsletter.

This year, the Lynchburg Fire Department has partnered with M.A.A.M. to raise support for the cause. The squad will be wearing “pink T-shirts” Oct. 17-22 and will be selling shirts to help support victims and their families, according to the Fire Department’s October newsletter. The squad is encouraged to use these shirts as a conversation starter with the public in order to gain an avenue to encourage them to have precautionary screenings.

“We were able to sell over 800 shirts and donate approximately $3,000 to support the fund,” Fire Chief Steven B. Ferguson said in the newsletter.

When asked why the Fire Department wanted to work to support the cause, Captain Jonathan Wright responded, “Like many, we have seen people dear to our heart suffer from this terrible cancer which is a huge motivator to do everything we can to prevent it from happening to others.”

Local businesses have come together for this cause. Businesses such as Radiology Consultants, Bee Line Towing, Southern Air and High Peak Sportswear have partnered with the Lynchburg Fire Department. All proceeds will be donated to M.A.A.M., according to Ferguson.

“The M.A.A.M. group increases awareness and promotes screening mammography by ensuring access to mammograms and increases awareness about the importance of annual mammograms,” M.A.A.M.’s website states.

M.A.A.M. helps to fund and organize free mammography screening days for the community and supports media campaigns to build awareness about mammography.”

M.A.A.M. will be hosting a luncheon Friday, Oct. 13 at Lynchburg College with the goal of providing free mammograms for women in the community. Sponsors can provide three mammograms by sponsoring a table for $525. Table sponsors will receive six tickets to the luncheon.

“Your guests will be seated together and treated to a fabulous and healthy luncheon,” Chair Yvonne McMahon said. “Special guests will entertain you with fancy dance movies that will inspire you to train for Dancing with the Stars.”

This event will also include local professionals speaking on how to be healthier, happier and wiser in your daily life.

Last year, 344 people attended and raised over $10,000 for the cause, according to the January newsletter.

To donate, contact M.A.A.M. at 434-200-4791 or visit their website at

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