There are several areas of funding that we will continue to fund, and we have Endowments which have been set up to support these funds in perpetuity:
Laurie C. Smith Breast Health Endowment – Screening Mammogram Assistance for Women
In 2004, friends and family of Laurie Smith came together with the Valley Baptist Foundation to find a way to honor Laurie Clore Smith’s memory while raising funds to enable more women to obtain mammograms. There were three luncheons held with the goal of earning at least $25,000 to establish this endowment. Over the years, many individuals and groups in our community have donated to this fund, which has grown to now just over $175,000. We continue to be grateful to the organizations who work so hard to give this support to our local women, especially The South Padre Island Walk for Women, Pink Ribbon Golf Classic and Magic Valley Riders. The income from the endowment is now used to help provide mammography services for women who cannot afford this preventive procedure. We gave 100 women a mammogram this year, and additional donations will enable even more women to receive mammograms!
Carolyn Fund – Post Mastectomy Assistance for Breast Cancer Patients
The Carolyn Fund was established by Jean Tullis Tichenor, in loving memory of her mother, Carolyn White Tichenor. Mrs. Tichenor was diagnosed with cancer in her early forties and underwent a radical mastectomy and chemotherapy treatment. She lost her battle with cancer at the young age of 43.
The Carolyn Fund offers financial assistance to women who have undergone a mastectomy and who have limited resources for the purchase of prosthesis and related items. The Carolyn Fund program is the only one of its kind in the Rio Grande Valley. It receives referrals from physicians, local agencies and the American Cancer Society. Clients come from all parts of South Texas ranging from Rio Grande City and Roma to South Padre Island.
The women who are referred to our program all have one thing in common – each has undergone a mastectomy. Faced with limited financial resources, they often walk into our office feeling broken and low-spirited. Our program coordinator says once she visits with them and fits them with a prosthesis and bra to suit their need, they undergo a wonderful transformation. Many of them say that the prosthesis makes them feel whole again. They walk away grateful, with their heads held high, and with a sense of regained dignity.
Because our program operates solely on charitable contributions, and because it is the only program of its kind in the Valley, our challenge is to continue seeking additional resources to continue this worthy service. A gift of $300 provides a life changing experience for a Valley woman. The community can help by offering financial support to the Carolyn Fund to ensure that it remains in existence for future patients. We are grateful to the continuing generosity of The South Padre Island Walk for Women as well as the Tichenor family for their support of this fund, which is now able to provide these services for at least 20 women per year.