‘Lost Girls’ find new way to fight a hidden killer
Eighteen months ago, the Lost Girls Motorcycle Club approached the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation about creating a voucher program to provide free mammograms and breast biopsies for women who could not afford them. The idea was to detect breast cancer early in women, especially younger women, as woman are not recommended to get annual mammograms until the age of 40. Studies have shown that breast cancer is more aggressive in younger women putting this group especially at risk.
Last October, the Lost Girls annual Breast Cancer Ride raised about $10,000 but the more impressive number was 114 – the number of women who used the club-funded vouchers to pay for their first mammograms.
“This event is wonderful because there is a gap in insurance coverage for women under 40 to get mammograms,” said Sheri Leimbach, an RN at the Kaweah Delta Breast Center. “We have seen an increase in diagnosis for breast cancer in younger women and I think it’s because more women are getting mammograms.”
Deborah Volosin, events coordinator for the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation, said she spent the last year getting vouchers out to doctors offices throughout Tulare County. She said younger women often have a gap in their insurance coverage or have no insurance at all to pay for mammograms and biopsies.
“We know that the younger a woman is with breast cancer the less chance of survival, so early detection early in life becomes even more important than ever before,” said Volosin.
Leimbach and Volosin watched as 120 women climbed on their motorcycles to make the 50-mile trip from the Breast Center in Visalia through the foothills to the Dry Creek Deli in Lemon Cove on Oct. 7. Once there, they were joined by their husbands, boyfriends and family members for a $10 lunch. In addition to lunch, the Lost Girls raffled off $17,000 in prizes to raise money for the voucher program.
The motorcycle ride began nine years ago with 50 riders and has grown to as many as 145 riders last year. If you are uninsured and are in need of a mammogram, please call the Kaweah Delta Breast Center at (559) 624-3209 and ask for Sheri Leimbach. The Lost Girls’ Motorcycle Club is a non-profit corporation and 501 (3)(c).
For more information go to www.lostgirlsmc.com or call SideCar Cindy at (559) 799-4796, Bee Coulson at (559) 936-9405 or Cat Flaherty at (559) 967-1200.