Los Gatos, CA - March 25, 2010 - Up to 70 women over 40 who have not yet had their first mammograms, as well as under-served and uninsured women will get free mammograms April 9th and 10th at a "Mammo Marathon" to be held at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos.
The event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days, is the result of an innovative fundraising effort, "Goals-for-a-Cure," dreamed up by Jason and Keven Azevedo, the young founders and owners of Matteo Studios, a successful San Jose printing and marketing company. The entrepreneurial siblings collaborated with the Santa Clara Sporting Club--where one coaches and the other is tournament director for the club's 500 teenage soccer players--to raise more than $47,000 for the effort, intended to boost breast cancer awareness on playing fields across the nation.
"We'd had several kids on our soccer teams whose mothers have been diagnosed with breast cancer," said Jason, the 18-year-old CEO of Matteo Studios, the company he and Keven, 23, started in their garage. "We wanted to do something about it--and ‘Goals-for-a-Cure' was the answer. We saw it as a way to raise awareness and a little money, and perhaps teach the kids a life lesson on the importance of doing something for others."
The Santa Clara Sporting Club agreed to outfit all 500 teen members--boys and girls alike--with pink jerseys to wear throughout October, 2009, promoting awareness and fundraising wherever the teams played.
"We had no idea our plan would succeed at this level," said Jason. "We didn't even want to make a big deal of the fundraising aspect of it for fear we would set the kids up for disappointment. While we hoped for $12,500, $47,000 exceeded our wildest dreams."
When the promotion was over the club donated the funds to El Camino Hospital Foundation to be used to help encourage women to get their first mammogram, and for women who otherwise might not have access to mammography. The foundation is using it to underwrite the Mammo Marathon, which also coincides with the opening of the hospital's new Digital Mammography Unit. (Additional funding for the event is being provided by The Women's Hospital at El Camino Hospital, Imaging Services at El Camino Hospital and Silicon Valley Diagnostic Imaging group.)
"We estimate that we can screen up to 70 women," said David Hinojosa, CRT, Imaging Manager for the Digital Imaging Center at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos and a long-time employee at the Los Gatos community hospital that recently became a part of El Camino Hospital. "We are so proud to be a part of this event--and delighted to have a chance to show how people-oriented our facility is. We pride ourselves on high quality care--including our new digital mammography center which offers better detection capabilities--blended with a very personal, caring environment."
Dr. Jessie K. Jacob, Director of Breast Imaging and Intervention for El Camino Hospital, said that events like this one are a critical part of the hospital's commitment to improving the health of the community.
"The key to early detection of breast cancer is mammography," she said. "Doing routine annual mammography allows us to potentially find cancers early while they are treatable. That's why it's so important for women of average risk for breast cancer to have a baseline mammogram by the age of 40. The baseline mammogram acts as a benchmark and allows a breast imager to recognize and appreciate subtle changes in breast pattern in later mammograms-- permitting them to not only find cancers, but often dismiss stable findings and avoid false positives."
Because mammography sometimes can be a stressful procedure for women, El Camino Hospital Los Gatos is offering participants a chance to relax with light refreshments and a "mini-spa" option such as a short massage, facial or hand-wax before or after their mammogram. "We would like this to be a very positive experience for everyone," said Hinojosa.
The free screening is focused on women 40 and above who have not yet had their first mammogram, and those who are uninsured or underserved. To participate, registration is required; call 800-216-5556.
El Camino Hospital Los Gatos Outpatient Mammography is located at 555 Knowles Avenue (just off the Winchester Ave. exit on Hwy 85), Suite 100.