Area woman thankful for SHF Breast Health Fund

Many women feel anxious waiting for the results of a mammogram.  It can be especially nerve-wracking if your doctor calls you back for more testing.  Getting called back is common, yet it doesn’t make it less stressful. 

Jennifer has been called back for additional testing after past mammograms due to dense breast tissue. After her annual mammogram in July of 2020, she was called back in for a follow-up exam. 

She thought, “This is just another one of those times.” 

Jennifer received a diagnosis of cancer in the right breast in August after a biopsy was done. 

“There was also a suspicious area on my left side that was found during an MRI,” she said. “I had a double lumpectomy. My left side was negative for cancer, but they did not get clear margins on the right side. So instead of having the surgeon do another lumpectomy on the right, I decided on the double mastectomy, especially since the left side could turn into cancer in the future.”

The most important issue for Jennifer was making sure that her medical needs were taken care of. 

 “I had recently retired and was now on my husband’s insurance.  I was told that my provider was out-of-network, so I figured I would just pay the deductible and get this taken care of,” she explained. “Our insurance was unable to cover the out-of-network provider, so in the midst of this, I had to switch to a doctor in the network. 

“I also had the Oncotype lab test that would determine if I would need chemo and/or radiation.  My score was under 25, so that was wonderful news that I didn’t have to undergo further treatment other than the reconstruction process.”

Jennifer is very thankful for the care she received, describing her doctor and surgical teams as, “AWESOME!”  

Jennifer’s story is heartwarming because one hears her positive attitude and thankfulness that she can have regular check-ups, that she had prompt treatment, and that the early diagnosis with treatment gave her a very positive outcome.

Jennifer said Danielle, her cancer patient navigator, offered wonderful support through her entire journey. 

“She’s been awesome!” she said. “She’s very, very good.  Danielle is someone aware of the expenses when you’re going through all these appointments and procedures.  The reality is you focus on healing, but you have medical bills coming in.  Danielle shared information about the Superior Health Foundation with me. 

“At first, I didn’t want to reach out because I always think that other people need it more than I do,” Jennifer added. “I ended up reaching out to Jim at the Superior Health Foundation and he got back to me immediately!  Jim was wonderful! He told me to apply for financial assistance through the Superior Health Foundation Breast Health Fund, and I am so, so grateful!!  I am so thankful for the resources available in our community and hope that others who may need some assistance reach out as well.”

 The SHF Breast Health Fund provides funding to help with out-of-pocket breast health expenses. Up to $1,000 is available to assist patients from across the Upper Peninsula. 

Learn more or apply for funding, simply visit the Breast Health Fund page.    

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