CHICAGO (CBS) — Susan G. Komen wants 100,000 Chicagoland women to get mammograms by the end of October, and the breast cancer treatment organization has partnered with Walgreens to reach the goal.
“When a woman gets her mammogram during this time at any participating mammography facility, she’ll receive a voucher making her eligible to receive 1,000 Walgreens balance reward points,” said Komen Chicago executive director Bonnie Gordon.
In addition, as part of the Rewards For Mammograms program, Walgreens will also donate one dollar up to $30,000 to the Komen foundation for every voucher presented, according to Gordon.
More than 1,000 people die from breast cancer in Chicago every year.
“There is a large disparity; with the mortality rate of African-American women being 40 percent higher than Caucasian women. We are actually the 7th worst city in the nation for these disparities,” she said.
Gordon says the program is about early detection and saving lives.
“Many of those deaths could have been prevented if a diagnosis had been made earlier, which is at the heart of the Komen Chicago-Walgreens mission in launching this program,” said Gordon.
“Walgreens is proud to be part of this program. It gives us a chance to focus on Komen’s aggressive goal of reducing breast cancer deaths in the community setting,” said Matt Farber, Senior Director of Oncology Disease State Management for Walgreens. “We are committed with working with the Cancer community. Every day we fill scripts for patients helping them treat their cancer and to also manage their side effects. In addition, with this program, we can support patients throughout their journey.”
Jacqueline Ortiz, 24, is a mother of three and a breast cancer survivor.
“I’m here to share my story. I found out I had stage 2 breast cancer last year when I did a self examination. I went through chemo and I just recently finished my radiation. I’m here to tell women to get your mammogram,” she said.
Mammograms are recommended for women beginning at 40 years old; but if there is a history of breast cancer in your family, you should consult your doctor and get checked much earlier.
Susan G. Komen Chicago has set a big, bold goal of helping reducing breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.
“This program is a great resource for the West side community and beyond. Women in underserved communities will now have greater access to these very critical services. This new partnership will save so many lives,” said Dr. Suzette McKinney, executive director and CEO of the Illinois Medical District Commission.
The Rewards for Mammograms program requires an appointment at any participating Chicagoland healthcare facility. After the appointment, women will receive a Walgreen’s Balance Rewards voucher. Then present the completed voucher to receive 1,000 points at checkout at any Walgreens.
“Every person – no matter your race, ethnicity, or income – deserves access to high quality breast cancer care. Komen has always stood by the belief that where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live,” said Maura Daley, the niece of former Chicago first lady Maggie Daley, who died in 2011, after a nine-year battle with metastatic breast cancer.
For a list of program participants, log onto komenchicago.org/walgreens