Especially For You Race Raises Funds for the Fight Against Breast Cancer
Sixty-two MediRevvers, friends and family members participated in the Especially For You race in Cedar Rapids, a 5 kilometer walk/run to raise awareness and funds in the fight against breast cancer. The event, now in its 26th year, is a community staple, with MediRevv sponsoring a team for our second consecutive year.
More than $481,000 was raised for the fund, which provides financial assistance for mammography, biopsies, ultrasounds and other breast-care services for area individuals in need. This is not just for underinsured or underprivileged, but for anyone in need of assistance.
MediRevv Accounts Receivable Specialist Melissa Werner organized the event for Team MediRevv this year, which is well-suited since she is an ambassador for the Especially For You Foundation.
Werner explains her devotion to the cause, “My paternal grandmother passed away from breast cancer back in 2001, and my maternal grandmother, after a 15 year breast cancer free period, just this year had a recurrence.”
In addition to having close family members fight the disease she said, “I also have been tested, and I have the BRACCA gene that is linked to breast cancer, so this foundation is near and dear to my heart. Especially for You is great with assisting those who need these scans when their insurance refuses to allow for these services."
The fight against breast cancer is very close to MediRevv as well. Several women in our corporate family have survived or are currently fighting breast cancer. Of the 694 cancer survivors participating in the Especially For You event, four of them were MediRevvers, including medical coders Pam Pasker and Voncille Johnson, who raced for the second year in a row for Team MediRevv.
“It makes me very proud to work for a company that gives back so much to the community, in so many different ways and for such a variety of causes,” Pasker noted when asked about what it means to her to have MediRevv participate in the event.
Johnson shared her personal investment in raising awareness and funds for women who might not be able to afford mammograms. “I was diagnosed eight years ago with breast cancer and was very fortunate to have great health care coverage and paid leave from my job at the time, so I never had to worry about my insurance or my job/pay check. The last thing you need while going through your treatments are these things, as you need to be able to concentrate on yourself and getting better. I know there are many women that are not so fortunate, and the Especially For You funds can assist women with the cost of their treatments and necessary preventative care.”
“It's incredibly important for people fighting cancer to have support. In so many different ways, cancer makes you feel alone. If I didn't have my family to drive me to all of my appointments, it would have been extremely difficult to make myself get to my treatments, mostly because I knew how I would feel afterwards . Who wants to subject themselves to that?” Pasker explained when asked about the importance of having support.
“I'm so thankful that I had my MediRevv family while I was fighting, too. A call to check up on me when I was off work to recover, a meal delivered from a coworker when I had no energy to cook for my family, and plenty of people to lift my spirits when I was at work was really important to make me feel like I could make it through.”
Johnson emphasizes giving back to the community in the effort to help others, “I helped with race packet pick-up so I saw up close how many people it takes to organize such a huge event. I particularly like to be involved in this event knowing that the funds raised stay at a local level.”
Pasker explains, “It is quite humbling to gather for the survivor’s photo and to realize that every person there has fought such a tough fight and are there to represent.”
For Accounts Receivable Specialist, Meredith Babb, the Especially For You race was her first experience with a breast cancer awareness event. She says, "The day of the walk marked two months since I received my breast cancer diagnosis. Walking that morning opened up my eyes to the love and support of so many who have been touched by cancer. MediRevv support of this great cause has shown me how caring and sympathetic others can be when someone is dealing with the unknown. It has been humbling and hard to wrap my mind around such love, which is AWESOME!"
15,560 participants raced at the 2016 event
Founded by Mercy Medical Center and General Mills in 1991 in memory of Sandy Knight, a Cedar Rapids resident who died of breast cancer that same year
Over $481,000 raise for the Especially For You fund
Race participants represented 33 states, 481 U.S. cities and came from as far away as Canada
The oldest registrant was Howard Powers at 93
Total number of cancer survivors registered for the race – 694
Funds raised provided 5,000 + individuals access to 9,000 services since 2008
The Especially For You event focuses on spreading the importance of getting mammograms to detect the disease early and funding research to eliminate the disease completely.
Babb states, "The donations stay in our community and are used for those who truly need help. This is an organization I can get behind and I am glad that MediRevv has as well. My family will be a part of this walk each year and may be a part of the committee at some point. That's how much Especially For You made me believe in them as I volunteered last week. I can't say enough good things about the organization."
Pasker offers a final thought, “By participating you are helping to fund research so we can hopefully wipe this disease from existence, and to help women who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford to get mammograms be able to get screened. And it's important to raise awareness that mammograms are not scary and not to put them off. I wish I had gone in for a mammogram when I turned 40, maybe then we could have caught the disease sooner without it being so advanced.”
For more information please reference the Especially For You website.