Many of the people who live in the Portofino development east of Clayton haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit the new hospital across town. But they’re getting behind a campaign led by the Johnston Health Foundation to buy 3-D mammography equipment that will enable the hospitals in Clayton and Smithfield to offer earlier, more accurate detection of breast cancer.
The foundation is hopeful that it can reach its goal of $500,000 by year’s end. For its part, Johnston Health will match the donations. The two 3-D mammography systems will cost a combined $1 million.
“We really do have a caring community,” said Sandra Thompson, who invited members of the foundation to the Portofino clubhouse recently to talk about the need for the advanced technology. She and her husband, Norwood, own Portofino and are among its 100 homeowners.
“I’ve reached out to our residents, and I’ve been getting checks every day,” Thompson said. “We’ve raised almost $4,000.”
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Turns out, everyone knows someone who has had breast cancer, or at least a scare.
Pam Marvel of Clayton is an 18-year survivor who gets check-ups every six months.
“So many women have breast cancer,” she said. “I like the idea that this advanced screening could be available here and accessible to all women, not just to those who have insurance.”
She and her husband, Mike, have reached out to Clayton High School where their daughter, Lauren Ramsey, is a teacher. Ramsey and a fellow teacher, Mary Dubinski, are spreading the word too and have secured a $1,700 pledge from teachers, students and school administrators.
The foundation has also launched an internal campaign at the two hospitals and has gathered, thus far, about $18,000 from employees, managers and directors toward an ultimate goal of $100,000.
“Getting behind this campaign is a no-brainer,” Mike Marvel said. “Clayton should be the town that steps up to this need. It’s had the most growth through the years. And we now have an outstanding hospital, which has helped our town grow.”