Mammography Art Initiative raises $6,000 for cause

Edwive Seme/Staff Writer

Photos courtesy of Ileana Varela

Students at the University are combining their efforts, artistically and financially, to raise awareness of breast cancer this month.

It can affect people directly, as well as indirectly through a loved one. Many people who are unaware that they have breast cancer don’t know it because they either think they don’t need to get a mammography, or they don’t have the money to afford one.

That is where the Green Family Foundation comes in, as well as the University’s School of Medicine. After launching an art contest, the School of Medicine hosted the Mammography Art Initiative on Sept. 29 at the Frost Art Museum. The event displayed the artworks collected from the contest, which were based on two themes: “Radiology Meets Art” and “Breast Cancer Can Hide in Anyone.” The event also had multiple speakers, ranging from doctors, faculty and students, to breast cancer survivors.

The Mammography Art Initiative was founded and carried out by students of FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, as a community-service learning project, to raise money for low income women, from the Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP in the Miami area, to get mammograms and work on getting treatment for their breast cancer.

The Green Family Foundation is a family foundation that provides grants to organizations that work on education, health services and reaching out to the community. The University’s School of Medicine also collaborates with this foundation for their program called Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP (Health Education Learning Program), which revolutionizes the way medical students are taught. Teams of students are sent into communities to help families stay healthy. Each team is assigned one to two households. The teams include medicals students and others in social work, nursing and public health, and in the future it may even include students studying business and law.

To reach their goal of $8000 to help 80 women from the foundation, the students organized an art exhibit from the contest. Three winners were chosen and awarded during the event. Their winning artworks, along with other participating works, were voluntarily auctioned.

The event also consisted of live music by students and consisted of speakers, such as Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Carolyn D. Runowicz. She’s globally known for her research in women’s health and gynecologic cancer. The president of the foundation, Kimberly Greene, also spoke of her personal experience with cancer and her inspiration for working with affected women locally, and also in Haiti. Some other speakers included breast cancer survivors who found help through the Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP, such as Roma James, who exhibited an art piece and presented the struggles she went through during her cancer.

At the end of the event, the School of Medicine was able to fundraise $6000 and are still accepting donations in hopes of reaching their goals to help women in need and join the fight against breast cancer.

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