When Jenny Mikyong Paek was referred by Hope Clinic for a breast cancer screening in July 2006, she took her first step in a life-saving journey.
For the Korean-born businesswoman and mother of two adult daughters, the journey came with a guide – The Rose.
The Rose is located in Bellaire and is Houston’s leading non-profit breast cancer organization, offering a full range of breast cancer screening and diagnostic services including mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, breast specific gamma imaging and access to treatment.
Annual gifts from customers and associates of Randalls, totaling more than $1.5 million, have made it possible to continue the availability of the Mobile Mammography Units. Randalls support provided for the purchase of the mobile unit on which Paek had her initial screening.
Paek’s introduction to the need for screenings translated into annual appointments – first at The Rose Southeast location and then last year closer to her home at The Rose Galleria. In late 2009, breast cancer was detected. Navigators from The Rose helped her find the care she needed for her mastectomy in January 2010.
A 37-year resident of Houston, Paek speaks fluent English but is reluctant to use her language skills until the subject turns to cancer.
“I talk to them and tell them they need regular checkups,” Paek said. “I tell my friends who are over 40 years old to get a mammogram because it makes sense. It’s prevention.”
When Paul McTavish, president of Randalls Food Markets, made the 2011 check presentation for $225,000 to Dorothy Gibbons, chief executive officer and co-founder of The Rose, Paek was present. The mobile mammography unit was also in operation providing screenings for employees of Randalls.
“Randalls is honored to be a partner with The Rose and to sponsor the mobile mammography unit which takes this vital screening service out into the community,” said McTavish.
The gift comes from contributions made by customers and associates of Randalls during the annual October in-store Breast Cancer Campaign. Thirty-six Houston area Randalls locations participated, including stores in the Bellaire area.
“In difficult economic times, the large amount of monies raised, which provide access to screenings for women who usually do not have such ease of access, is especially noteworthy,” said Gibbons. “We are grateful to Randalls for continuing to remember that ease of access can save lives.”
Randalls’ previous gifts went towards the purchase of one of the two mobile units currently deployed to corporations, organizations, churches and clinics in Houston and 11 surrounding counties.
In fiscal year 2010, the Mobile Program traveled to 202 different sites for a total of 410 site visits, serving 5,679 women – more than 66 percent of whom were uninsured – across 11 counties.