NEW PLYMOUTH -- Thousands of women will be running and walking in Saturday's Komen Race for the Cure. Many will drive in from rural areas to take part.
That's good, because spreading awareness about breast cancer screening is vital, especially since studies show rural women are least likely to find breast cancer early.
A local family is trying to change that in their little corner of the world for a very special reason. It 's a busy time of year at the Lee's 100-year-old family farm near New Plymouth, its asparagus season . "It'll grow 6-8 inches a day," said Galen Lee.
It is also mammogram season. "If you catch it early it's so much more treatable," said Lee.
Lee knows it's an unlikely combination. Who would expect to get their asparagus and their mammogram all in one stop? But he and his family have a very personal reason for bringing mammograms to New Plymouth via the St. Alphonsus mobile mammogram unit.
"My wife Becky, when our daughter was 6 months old, Becky was diagnosed with breast cancer, and unfortunately she didn't make it. Four and a half years of chemo therapy, and she passed away after that," said Lee.
Galen's mom Freda Lee actually got the ball rolling, wanting to make sure friends, family and neighbors had a convenient place to get their mammograms.
"One lady said 'I came in my pajamas and slippers with my coffee cups in my hand.' We don't care," Freda said.
Freda even does the scheduling. She's not afraid of the hard sell, and she really believes in it.
Her son is thankful Becky's message encouraging women to get their mammograms is still having an impact.
"What a great tribute to what she stood for and believed in and fought for, you know, a big fight the rest of her life. The last few months were really difficult, but for that to continue on it's a great legacy for her," Galen Lee said.