Lost Girls Motorcycle Ride and Witch Walk help pay for mammograms for uninsured/underinsured women and men in Tulare County
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – What do broomsticks and Harleys have in common? They both drive women to raise money in the fight against breast cancer. Two events earlier this month epitomize Tulare County’s dedication to helping all women fight cancer while also having fun on a Friday night or Saturday.
On Oct. 1, the Lost Girls Motorcycle Club held its annual Breast Cancer Ride. Cindy “Sidecar” Dupuis, secretary/treasurer for the club, said about 140 riders participated in the ride that began at Kaweah Delta Breast Imaging Center at 4949 W. Cypress and ended at the 4 K Bar Ranch, 18850 Avenue 300 in Exeter, for lunch. For the first time ever, Dupuis said male riders outnumbered female riders in the event, but still took different paths to the final stop for lunch. She estimated another 100 people joined the motorcycle riders for lunch.
“The guys have really stepped up to help the event,” Dupuis said. “People don’t realize that guys can get breast cancer too.”
With riders paying $25 for registration and everyone paying $10 for lunch, the 13th annual ride raised more than $15,000 to provide vouchers for mammograms, biopsies and cancer care garments to women who are uninsured or underinsured and cannot afford them.
There is also some confusion about the need for funding since the passage of Assembly Bill 1795 last year. The legislation expanded the federal government’s Every Woman Counts (EWC) program which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations. In prior years, EWC only covered the cost of diagnostic services for woman over the age of 40 who are exhibiting symptoms of breast cancer. As of Jan. 1, 2017 women of any age can get free diagnostic mammograms if they are showing signs of breast cancer or if an abnormality is found in a screening mammogram.
Screening mammograms are routinely administered to detect breast cancer in women who have no apparent symptoms. Diagnostic mammogram includes supplemental mammographic views and a possible ultrasound. Symptoms of breast cancer include, but are not limited to:
- A mass, lump or swelling in the breast or underarm;
- Changes in breast size or shape;
- Change in skin texture and color (dimpling, puckering, redness, scaly skin, or thickening) of the breast or nipple;
- Nipple retraction or inversion;
- Nipple discharge; and/or
- Breast pain.
While there is no age requirement, free breast cancer screening services are only eligible to women who are 40 years or older, low income, have no or limited insurance and who are not getting these same services through Medi-Cal or another government-sponsored program. EWC is part of the California Department of Health Care Services’ Cancer Detection and Treatment Branch (CDTB). For more information on the program, call the 24-hour hotline at 1-800-511-2300.
On Friday the 13th, witches flew into Exeter for the 1st annual Witch Walk. Women, dressed in a more ghoulish black dress, paid a $25 registration fee that also benefitted the Lost Girls Fund. The women checked in at the Exeter Health Clinic on San Juan Avenue before descending into downtown for Exeter’s 2nd annual Witches Night Out. All of the money raised by the ride and the Witch Walk go into an account with the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation.
If you were unable to attend either of these events, Dupuis said you can still make donations to the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation through the end of the year. For more information, call 559-624-2359 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.