Local girls urge mammograms

Female breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in North Carolina. It also accounts for the second-most cancer-related deaths among women.

Two local Girl Scouts are determined to do something to change that statistic as part of their work toward their Silver Awards.

"Their platform is Breast Cancer Awareness and Support," one of their troop leaders, Lisa Guarino, said. "They choose a platform and perform a minimum of 50 hours of community service surrounding that platform. They also have many other requirements to complete to receive this grand award."

As part of their platform, Junior Girl Scouts Grace Guarino and Hannah Pollock are spreading the word about the mobile mammography unit sponsored by Carolinas Medical Center - Northeast in Concord. The unit makes it easy for a woman to have a mammogram, and financial assistance is available.

The girls made posters for the Odell Elementary and Harris Road Middle school carpool lines, and this weekend they will hand out registration cards at the Moss Creek pool.

Both girls have been affected by cancer in very personal ways.

"My aunt had breast cancer," Grace said. "She is a three-year survivor. I thought it would be nice to help others that might have also have cancer."

Hannah said, "My uncle has cancer, and we made him a fleece blanket for his chemo treatments. I wanted to touch people like we touched him."

Another troop leader, Daisha Dobbins, who is also Hannah's mother, said, "As a mother, I want my daughter to understand the importance of taking care of herself and her body. Especially when you become a mother, you tend to put everyone ahead of yourself and your needs.

"It only takes about an hour a year and five minutes a month to save your life," Dobbins said. "I hope this project not only teaches Hannah the importance of taking care and loving yourself, but I also hope that she sees what being involved and ... doing things for others can make a difference in a community. Giving of yourself: What else can be better?"

Guarino said, "I am very proud of Grace and Hannah. They have worked very hard over the summer to come up with ideas and how to achieve those plans. They are compassionate young ladies who have realized the power of volunteerism at a young age."

The mobile mammography unit will be at the Moss Creek Ruckus House on Sept. 16. For more information on the financial assistance that is available, or to make an appointment, call 704-403-7129.