North Regional Mammography Coordinator Tammy Branch and Mammography Technologist Lane Holder pose with the North Surry JV and Varsity Cheerleaders in front of the spirit rock.
The North Surry High School varsity and JV cheerleading squads as well as Northern Regional Hospital hosted a breast cancer awareness walk on October 26.
The Greyhound Cheerleaders support breast cancer awareness all month in October. They wear pink socks, bows and use pink poms during the month.
This year, Greyhounds decided to go the extra mile to support against this disease.
“For the past few years, I have asked Lana Eades Holder to come and speak with the cheerleaders about breast health and breast cancer,” said varsity cheerleading coach Hope Ward. “When I asked Lana about doing something this year, she said, ‘let’s do something different, let me brainstorm’ and she came back with the idea of a short walk where the cheerleaders would pay five dollars each to walk.
“With the results, the North Regional Mammography Department can provide one uninsured woman with a 3D mammogram. An uninsured woman has to pay $250 out of pocket for a 3D mammogram. As you can imagine, many women cannot afford this additional cost. So combined with the contribution cheerleaders and ladies from the mammography department, hopefully we can raise enough money to pay for one mammogram.
The cheerleaders took it beyond this and asked their parents, grandparents and friends to walk with them. The cheerleading coaches also invited faculty and staff to walk with us.
“We even extended an invitation to the community by posting the event on the NSHS social media pages,” Ward said. “Cheerleaders set up at lunch to ask for donations and sign people up for the walk. Many students and staff donated but couldn’t walk.
“I also asked the JROTC if they would help us. Col. Corby Myles and 1st Sgt. Ken Goetzke, along with their cadets, measured and mapped out the route around the campus. They were also marked walking with bright pink flags. Cadets were also stationed along the route to lead the walkers and cheer them on. They help a lot.”
Kim Atkins Foods II class prepares pink cupcakes for the walk. Ladies in the department of mammography and Food Singa provided after-walk snacks and water.
Andrea Hudson, Secondary Curriculum Coach in North Surry has a personal reason for walking. His mother, Laura Flye, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, one of the deadliest varieties, in December 2016. It metastasized to her bones and then traveled to her brain.
Flye died on June 30, 2021.
“The cancer in her breast was so small that it was only caught through a 3D mammogram,” said Hudson, who made a very generous donation to the walk according to Ward.
“I think that the breast cancer walk is a good way to bring awareness about the need for early detection to the younger generation. Research is so close to finding a cure that this sweet girl can see a cure for the rest of her life. Cancer affects every household in some way, shape or form form. We must do what we can to defeat this evil disease. I am very happy to be a part of this.”
Fonda Dalton, Social Studies Teacher in North Surry and Breast Cancer Survivor, said, “It was a moving, emotional and encouraging event. A time of information, reflection and inspiration.”
Barbara Moncus, another Breast Cancer survivor, has a son in North Surry and also joins the walk.
“I appreciate all of you and all the girls,” Moncus said. “It’s hard enough to go through cancer, let alone worry about bills. I know mammograms are painful and when I hear people say it hurts. I tell them that the pain only lasts a few minutes and that pain can save your life. That’s what I did. “
Representing the Northern Regional Mammography Department was Mammography Coordinator Tammy Branch and Mammography Technologists Lana Holder and Lauren Syahadat.
“With the resurgence of COVID-19 we are diligently continuing our safety protocols to keep our patients safe. Please continue to get your annual mammogram! Mammography saves lives” said Holder.
The total amount of donations from the walk was $880.
“I am so proud of these cheerleaders, our faculty and staff, our students and this wonderful community that we live in for coming together to support this cause,” said Ward. “With the money raised, North Regional Hospital was able to provide 3 uninsured women with 3D mammograms. That’s amazing!”