Reducing the number of people who get cancer and the number of people who die from cancer is why the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia exists. The work we do in the community is important to better understand why cancer rates are high in our region and how to best prevent cancer. The Cancer Coalition's mission, projects, and funding are all focused completely on south Georgia. Our goal is to ensure more people learn about cancer and receive the services they need, so fewer of our family and friends, like those highlighted below, are affected by cancer.
As a growing organization, our ongoing success depends on our current supporters as well as the opportunities created by new supporters. The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia is interested in working with any individual or organization who shares our vision, our hope of access to quality cancer care close to home. With your support, we can continue to help people like Earlene Burns, Lee Bush, and many others in our communities. We hope you will consider helping us... to help all of us in south Georgia. To donate, please click here.
Her Story is Our Story
Earlene Burns (pictured above) lives in south Georgia and her story is our story...the story of the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia.
By the time he was 58, Billy Mills of Colquitt, Georgia (left) had thought many times that he should get screened for colon cancer and just as many times he had pushed the idea aside. Without insurance, Rev. Mills, pastor of Cooks Union United Methodist Church in Colquitt, knew he couldn't afford one. "It just wasn't an option for me, even though I knew I needed to have myself checked out," he admits.
When the phone call came from Rhonda Green, project coordinator with the Coalition's Community Cancer Screening ProgramSM, telling him he could receive the testing free of charge, Rev. Mills didn't hesitate to take the offer. "It was the right thing at the right time," he says. "It was something I was glad to hear."
Marking his 59th birthday in March 2009, the father and grandfather who has been preaching since he was 17 had even more reason to celebrate. "Everything checked out fine," Rev. Mills reveals of his 2008 colonoscopy results. "It's good to know that I'm okay.
"I'm thankful for the chance to know for sure."
Since 2006, the Coalition's Community Cancer Screening ProgramSM, has provided mammograms, Pap tests, prostate cancer tests and colonoscopies to more than 250 uninsured residents in south Georgia, with the list continuing to grow every day.
Thirty four years after being diagnosed with cervical cancer, Lee Bush (shown with her daughter and granddaughter) doesn't mind being reminded of the ordeal that made her realize just how precious life is. She takes every opportunity to tell family and friends of the importance of early cancer detection. "I had a second chance," she says. "I needed to do something with it. If that was just telling women they need to take care of themselves, then I would do it. Any chance I got."
With funding from the Georgia Department of Human Resources, the Cancer Coalition helped Lee Bush to get the message out about the importance of screening. In cooperation with the Spring Creek Health Cooperative, Early County Health Department, and Primary Care of Southwest Georgia, the Cancer Coalition educated and increased cervical cancer screening among women 40 and older. The program reduced disparities suffered by many low-income and uninsured women. Partnerships between our Cancer Coalition, community organizations, healthcare providers, and concerned citizens like Lee Bush will help win the battle against cancer in south Georgia.