Chargers & Komen offer free breast exams - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Chargers & Komen offer free breast exams

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in honor of that, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the San Diego Chargers partnered up to offer free breast exams and mammograms to qualified San Diegans.

Free mammograms were provided to women 40 and older from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at Qualcomm Stadium. All participants received a primary medical placement and were linked to a medical home, which is important for following up each year, according to Laura Farmer Sherman, executive director of Komen San Diego, which is partnering with the San Diego Chargers to underwrite the cost of the mammograms.

"My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, she was given less than a year to live. She had an aggressive tumor'" said Lizzie Cordova, who now works for the Susan G Komen Foundation.

She added that her mom had put off getting a mammogram because she was taking care of her sick grandfather.

"Women kind of have that role in the family. They just have to take care of themselves," continued Cordova, who is now urging other women to get screening done early.

"If anything is found, we'll step in pay for biopsies if she needs surgery," explained Farmer Sherman.

April Baltzell was one of the first in line Thursday.

“I've been unemployed and haven't been able to get my mammograms for seven years,” Baltzell said.

She added that she just couldn't afford them and admitted it was scary:

“My grandmother died of breast cancer and three of her sisters had breast cancer.”

She and hundreds of others are now able to get the screening and care they need thanks to the Chargers and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Cordova's mom lived six years beyond her initial diagnosis, six years she says she'll always cherish.

"I recently got married, my mom wasn't at my wedding that was definitely hard, but I'm so lucky to have those others moments in my life. I'll cherish them forever," she said.

Additional breast health information was also available during Thursday's event. Women under 40 needing assistance were directed to a program that is able to provide the help they need, Farmer Sherman said.

"In San Diego, every day six women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman dies. The Chargers are helping change that statistic," said Farmer Sherman.

Last year, the Chargers became the first NFL team to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month by funding free mammograms and inspired other teams to also do so, Farmer Sherman added.

During last year's event, 700 women were screened, and 22 were diagnosed with breast cancer.


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