AKA Sorority sponsors Breast Clinic visit to First Calvary Baptist
SALISBURY – Essie Hailey, 57, never had the income, insurance or fortitude to take a preventative step against breast cancer by having a mammography.
She was lucky.
“I should have,’ Hailey acknowledged. “They say you should have one every year.”
Hailey took luck out of the equation Saturday by having her first mammography done in the mobile Breast Clinic, which came to First Calvary Baptist Church on South Long Street.
Salisbury’s Delta Xi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sponsored the Breast Clinic’s visit, and through a grant from the Susan Komen Foundation, low-income women such as Hailey could have the mammography done at virtually no cost.
Hailey, who lives in East Spencer, had a friend drive her to the church, where the mobile Breast Clinic out of Forsyth Memorial Medical Center (Rowan Regional Medical Center and Forsyth come under the same Novant umbrella) was parked behind the church and fellowship hall.
Hailey said the thought of having a mammography intimidated her a little, and she knew the screening could be expensive without health insurance.
“The cost – I knew it was high,” she said.
But Hailey loved the care she received from the mobile clinic’s staff and said the whole process took maybe 15 minutes. After a lunch provided by Missionary Unit No. 6 of First Calvary Baptist, Hailey said she had to get back to East Spencer for her shift at Krider’s restaurant.
She works three days a week at Krider’s.
Mary Turner, came to the clinic by city bus. She said she tries to have a breast screening regularly because cancer runs in her family.
An older sister, she said, needed a radical mastectomy in the past.
The mobile unit was convenient and “a very, very good idea,” said Turner, 66.”
Some 22 women took advantage of the screenings Saturday, which were offered from 10-2 p.m. Besides a nutritious lunch, the day offered participants a chance to register to vote if they weren’t already.
Marva McCain headed the health initiative for the chapter, which has 45 members. The AKA Sorority has 260,000 members worldwide.
Fonda Kirk, president of the chapter, said the health initiative is one of six the AKA Sorority has. As part of its health program, the sorority focuses on, prevention, treatment, nutrition, personal fitness and healthy lifestyles for African-American women.
Providing the mobile clinic on a Saturday was important, Kirk noted, to make it more convenient for working women.
The sorority chapter meets at 10 a.m. the third Saturday of each month at the Salisbury Business Center on West Bank Street.
McCain said the sorority plans to make the mobile Breast Clinic’s visit an annual event.
“We had a great day,” she said.Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.