Think Pink, Cascade Medical offer free screenings

Free mammograms for local uninsured women in October.

 Cascade Medical is offering free breast cancer screenings for uninsured women in the Upper Valley, thanks to a caring group of local business owners.

The idea started with Obertal Mall last October, where business owners created a “Think Pink” campaign to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Businesses set aside “pink” items – such as hats, soaps and crafts -- with plans to donate a portion of the sales locally. They worked with Cascade Medical to ensure that those funds would benefit local women.

“Our biggest goal was to impact our community directly,” said Shawna Villalazo, owner of The Bubblery. “If we can help one person come in and get checked, it will be worth it.”

This year, more businesses joined the effort: Posy, Simply Just For U, Flavor Express, Jones Gallery, Village Alps, Art to Suit You, Mainz House of Rocks, The Broken Barrel Mercantile, The Bubblery and India House.

Two more businesses hosted fundraising events dedicated to Think Pink, BeYoutiful Hot Yoga and Watershed Cafe.

Thanks to the Think Pink fund, Cascade Medical is offering free mammograms throughout October for uninsured women who live within the hospital district, including Dryden, Peshastin, Leavenworth and Plain. As the Think Pink campaign grows, the hope is that more women will come forward to get screened.

A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that can detect cancer early, when it’s most treatable. Insurance companies are required to cover mammography for women age 40 and over. For women who are not insured, the Think Pink fund will cover the cost.

Cascade Medical conducts about 240 mammograms a year.

“I think it’s a remarkable example of the way the community pulls together to help people in need, both financially and for their health,” said Diane Blake, Cascade Medical CEO.