RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – It’s not every day you get to thank someone for saving your life, but one Saturday morning in September was Patricia Robinson’s moment.
Robinson walked to the podium at Richmond’s Hobson Lodge to thank members of the Central Virginia Chapter of the Sisters Network. ” I just want to thank you for all you do, because I am a result of your help,” she said.
That help came in a bag, one of many handed out by members and volunteers, with each bag containing vital breast health information and resources for women who have little to no insurance.
“We often leave a bag and we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Central Virginia chapter president Brenda Archer. She knows now the impact the bag left for Robinson had.
Hundreds of them are handed out or left on door steps during the Sisters Network annual Gift for Life Block Walk and this year Patricia Robinson was among the volunteers passing them out during the door-to-door walk.
A year ago, she was a woman with a lump, frightened and unable to afford a mammogram. “When I knew I had to have one, I thought, “how much is it going to cost? Where am I going to come up with the money?”” said Robinson.
Then she found one of the bags on her mother’s front porch with information about Every Woman’s Life. ” I never thought a mammogram would be free,” she said.
Every Woman’s Life provides qualified women with breast and cervical cancer screening at no cost. Robinson qualified, was diagnosed, and treated. She says she’s doing well, is happy and feels blessed.
Archer says chapter members feel blessed as well. “It is a blessing to know that what we do matters,” said Archer. “Even if they don’t open the door, they will need the information. “
After her diagnosis, Robinson learned she had a family history of breast cancer. Her cousin, a great aunt, and her paternal grandmother all died from breast cancer.
Sisters Network is a national organization of African American breast cancer survivors and advocates who work to lower the breast cancer death rate among African American women.
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