Mid-Southerners work to bridge the racial gap in breast cancer s - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-Southerners work to bridge the racial gap in breast cancer survival

(WMC-TV) - Bridging the racial gap in breast cancer survival is groundbreaking work in the Mid-South.

Diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, Deborah Reid just gave up.

"When I found out, I said, 'Forget this, I'm not going to do nothing, I'm fixin to die!'" said Reid, Sassie Seniors of Memphis CEO.

The CEO of Sassie Seniors of Memphis immediately went to a funeral home, then to her pastor to make arrangements for her death.

"First thing I was thinking about, was being a burden to may family," she said.

Reid is now getting the treatment she needs.

But many African-American women across the nation, particularly in Memphis, are dying from breast cancer, while white women are surviving the disease.

"It's a call to action. It's a call to action for Memphis," said Edward Rafalski, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. "A call to action for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare to do something. And it's something we can fix."

It was a national study that appeared in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology last April that had Edward Rafalski and his colleagues at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare trying to answer the call to reduce the number of black women dying from breast cancer. And it meant changing the way Le Bohneur treats its patients.

Methodist is now sharing a database with the West Clinic, helping less fortunate people get grants for screenings and transport vouchers for appointments.

And then there is the Congregation Health Network.

"Made up of over 500 churches here in Memphis, every denomination, a connection to all these religious organizations to raise awareness to connect people," said Rafalski.

That is how the medical system is changing to make a difference, but changing behaviors toward health care and breast cancer screenings is not easy.

"There are lot of us do not have insurance. We rely on the old folks remedy, it will go away... I don't want to be bothered, I've got other things to do. I got to go to work," said Reid.

Deborah Reid is not giving up, and she is now sharing a message for other women who may think a breast cancer diagnosis is a death sentence.

"Get that mammogram,' cause the life you save could be your own," she encouraged.

Methodist is hopeful that the changes to reach into under-served areas will close that disparity gap. It could be several years before the hospital knows if those efforts have paid off.

Get the latest from Action News 5 anytime: iPhone | iPad | Android | SMS Alerts | Email Alerts | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

 

  • News on WMCTV.comNewsMore>>

  • Holly Springs man gunned down 1 week before wedding

    Holly Springs man gunned down 1 week before wedding

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:47 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:47:19 GMT
    Terry Halloway (Source: submission)Terry Halloway (Source: submission)

    Police in Holly Springs are investigating after a man was shot and killed early Saturday morning in the area of West College Avenue near McKinney Street.

    More >>

    Police in Holly Springs are investigating after a man was shot and killed early Saturday morning in the area of West College Avenue near McKinney Street.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT: Timing for weekend rain and storms

    FIRST ALERT: Timing for weekend rain and storms

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:43 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:43:14 GMT
    There will be a couple of rounds of showers and storms this weekend.  * Storms continue overnight * Windy & mild * Flash flooding possible A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect Sunday 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. Watch out for flash flooding, as 1-3 inches and locally higher amounts may be seen throughout the day Sunday, mainly from Memphis west into AR. TONIGHT: Scattered showers and overnight storms. Windy and warm. Winds: S 15-25 mph. Low: 71. THIS WEEKEND:&...More >>
    There will be a couple of rounds of showers and storms this weekend.  * Storms continue overnight * Windy & mild * Flash flooding possible A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect Sunday 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. Watch out for flash flooding, as 1-3 inches and locally higher amounts may be seen throughout the day Sunday, mainly from Memphis west into AR. TONIGHT: Scattered showers and overnight storms. Windy and warm. Winds: S 15-25 mph. Low: 71. THIS WEEKEND:&...More >>
  • Mr. Belding meets fans at Redbirds game

    Mr. Belding meets fans at Redbirds game

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:39 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:39:58 GMT

    Dennis Haskins, who played the principal America fell in love with on "Saved By The Bell," was at the Memphis Redbirds game greeting fans as part of a 90s night promotion. 

    More >>

    Dennis Haskins, who played the principal America fell in love with on "Saved By The Bell," was at the Memphis Redbirds game greeting fans as part of a 90s night promotion. 

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • Teen with cerebral palsy denied prom tickets

    Teen with cerebral palsy denied prom tickets

    Friday, April 28 2017 10:36 PM EDT2017-04-29 02:36:27 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:00 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:00:47 GMT
    Ashley Hamblin already has her dress picked out, but may not be able to wear it. (WSMV)Ashley Hamblin already has her dress picked out, but may not be able to wear it. (WSMV)

    She has her dress, her date, and an extensive hair and makeup plan. It’s all in anticipation of her high school prom, but a Middle Tennessee teen was denied tickets.

    More >>

    She has her dress, her date, and an extensive hair and makeup plan. It’s all in anticipation of her high school prom, but a Middle Tennessee teen was denied tickets.

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Officials: 5 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase

    Officials: 5 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase

    Sunday, April 30 2017 12:31 AM EDT2017-04-30 04:31:34 GMT

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly