If you’ve ever seen the Indiana license plates, bordered in pink and garnished with the famous pink ribbon to signify breast cancer awareness, you should probably know that the plate means more than a simple badge of support. Especially when it comes to the Breast Cancer Project started by the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte (HFL).
Since 2002 when the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust (IBCAT) started offering the vanity license plates through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, more than $5 million in proceeds from them has served tens of thousands of underserved Hoosier women with costs that come with maintaining breast health. In La Porte and Starke counties alone, the HFL has secured more than $231,000 in IBCAT grants for these Northwest Indiana communities for mammograms and other treatments.
This year is no different. The HFL Breast Cancer Projects is once again funding mammograms and other treatments for women in La Porte and Starke counties thanks to a $16,000 grant from IBCAT.
The Breast Cancer Project has been in place since 2005 to encourage and educate women about breast health and the importance of early detection. The program is also made possible by the Michigan City Women’s Bowling Association, the La Porte City Fire Department Local 360, and other community partners.
The Breast Cancer Projects provides screening mammograms and diagnostic mammography services to uninsured and underinsured women in La Porte and Starke counties who meet American Cancer Society high risk criteria or are age 40 or older. To see if they qualify for a voucher for a free mammogram, women should contact their La Porte or Starke County physician’s office for an appointment, print this document, and mention the mammogram voucher program at their appointment for a referral.
Physician offices who are not familiar with the program or do not have the paperwork for the mammogram voucher may call the HFL at 219-326-2471 to request a copy. It’s best to do so while the patient is at the office so you can secure their signature and information.
The mission of IBCAT is to increase awareness and improve access to breast cancer screening and diagnosis throughout Indiana.
All Indiana residents may purchase an Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness special group recognition license plate by visiting any Indiana BMV license branch or online at www.in.gov/bmv for an annual $40 distinctive plate fee, $25 of which is a direct tax-deductible donation to IBCAT. The plate may be purchased to display on trucks with a declared weight of not more than eleven thousand (11,000) pounds, recreational vehicles, passenger motor vehicles and motorcycles.
The Indiana breast cancer awareness license plate was the idea of late Nancy Jaynes, a Plymouth High School family and consumer sciences teacher. Nancy lost her battle with breast cancer in 2008. Her vision for the license plate to be a traveling billboard and reminder about the importance of early detection and prevention of breast cancer carries on and continues to make a difference in the lives of thousands of Hoosier women.
For more information about the Breast Cancer Project, or all of the other special projects and programs by the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, visit their website at www.hflaporte.org.