GREENFIELD — Becky Pohland knows well the fear and shock that comes with a breast cancer diagnoses.
Having fought the disease herself, she says there is nothing more alarming; but not knowing where to turn for help can make a difficult situation even worse, she said.
Women Helping Women, a program coordinated by the Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation, provides medical exams to uninsured and underinsured women in Han- cock County.
It will host its annual fundraiser Oct. 21 in an effort to fund mammograms and other health services for residents in need, organizers said.
The event brings in thousands of dollars each year and, in 2014, about $50,000 in donations helped 218 woman receive free or reduced medical care at the Andis Women’s Clinic at the hospital, where Pohland serves as patient coordinator and works directly with the women aided by the fundraiser.
Seeing hundreds of women who might otherwise be left in the dark about their health come into the clinic for help is one of the most rewarding parts of her job, Pohland said.
“It’s a very scary thing when someone tells you, ‘You have breast cancer,’” Pohland said.
“We try to do whatever we can to get them help.”
Under the banner of “Tackle Breast Cancer,” the 2015 Women Helping Women celebration will begin at 5:15 p.m. Oct. 21 at Adaggio’s, 5999 W. Memory Lane, Greenfield. Those who attend are invited to wear their team colors while enjoying the football decor. A tailgate-themed dinner with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar is planned, organizers said.
A live and silent auction featuring 80 custom-made baskets will take place as well.
Tickets are on sale now for $80 each, and reservations are due Monday. Sponsorship is being sought by the same deadline. To purchase tickets or become a sponsor, contact the hospital foundation at 317-468-4106.
The foundation has hosted a Women Helping Women fundraiser for 17 years, and each event brings in money that stays in Hancock County, said Allyson Smith, the foundation’s manager.
Women Helping Women offers residents the opportunity to give to a local cause with proven success, she said. Those who attend the fundraiser this year will hear directly from women who have received medical attention paid for by their neighbors during a special presentation, she said.
In addition to raising money, the event helps increase breast cancer awareness in the community, Smith said. Hancock Regional Hospital oncologists will give a brief presentation at the event about the patients they serve each day and the benefits offered at the hospital’s new cancer center, she said.
Despite its name, the program is open to everyone, and organizers are hoping to see more men attend this year’s celebration, Smith said.
The fundraiser is made possible with the help of dozens of volunteers, many of whom have been directly affected by breast cancer, event co-chairwoman Kathy Locke said.
“It seems like every year we see new people jump on the (event) committee who either are breast cancer survivors or who know someone who has breast cancer,” Locke said. “It’s amazing to see it all come together.”
The Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation will conduct its 17th annual Women Helping Women Celebration at 5:15 p.m. Oct. 21 at Adaggio’s, 5999 W. Memory Lane, Greenfield.
Tickets are $80 each, and reservations are due by Monday. For more information or to register, call 317-468-4106. Information is also available at hancockregionalhospital.org/foundation and on the Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation Facebook page.