GAWDA GIVES BACK TO WINGS: Women Involved in Nurturing, Giving, Sharing Inc.

March 2010 Update

Since September 2009, WINGS has used GAWDA funds to assist eight uninsured women with breast cancer. These women are so full of grace and dignity that it is a profoundly humbling experience to be able to assist in their care.  Here are the stories of three of these remarkable ladies.

She just celebrated her 30th birthday. Three months later, she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer with metastatic disease in the spine. And, she was scared.

Why did she wait a year after she felt the lump? Because she didn’t have health insurance and couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. Now what? Without treatment, who would take care of her three small children when she was gone. She didn’t want to think about these things but this was all she could think about.

Her back pain finally took her to the emergency room where a very compassionate doctor told her about WINGS.

She is now in treatment and facing her future. Living every day. Her prognosis is good. WINGS commitment to her and every women it serves is lifetime care. . .because everybody deserves a lifetime.

Words cannot express the gratefulness for the gift you have given my family and me. Even as you called with the news that we were accepted into the program, the hardest questions fell away. We could then put all attention toward getting well. One day as I was doing chemo a precious lady was waiting for blood counts. They came back low and she would need shots to bring them up. The nurse asked if she was prepared to pay the $200 for her shot. It took my breath away and I stopped to thank God for WINGS and that I never had to worry about shots or anything but being well. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I cannot say it enough. I am well today because of your program. Keep doing, being, and stretching out your arms to other women and in so doing be the arms of God. Bless you all!

Every WINGS patient tugs on our heart strings but there is one who plays a symphony on our heart. A patient since 2005, this brave lady is determined to stick around. Despite numerous episodes of recurrent metastatic disease, she continues remain upbeat and positive. Recent neurosurgery (paid for with GAWDA funds) to ease the pressure on her brain caused by a tumor slowed her down for a few weeks but she is now up and about demonstrating her trademark courage and relentless good humor. She is planning a 62nd birthday bash for later this month and plans on being a guest at WINGS 11th Anniversary Celebration in September. Like Molly Brown, this woman is unsinkable!

To date, your generosity has saved the lives of eight women. On their behalf and on behalf of their families and friends, I thank you for your kind heart and your selfless spirit.

Terri Bronocco Jones
Executive Director

As spring approaches, many of us are beginning to make plans to attend this year’s annual convention in San Antonio in September. When we go we are also looking forward to giving back to this unique city and its diverse population as part of GAWDA GIVES BACK.

This year, we are excited to announce WINGS “Women Involved in Nurturing, Giving, Sharing, Inc.” as the 2009 recipient of GAWDA GIVES BACK. WINGS was founded in 1999 by two breast cancer survivors. Imagine that you have been told you have breast cancer. Worse you have little or no insurance and no way to pay the average $98,285 cost for full treatment. WINGS believes no one should die from breast cancer because they do not have adequate funds to pursue medical treatment that would allow them to defeat their cancer and continue to live life to the fullest. The program offers comprehensive breast cancer screening and treatment at no charge to the patient. Through their network of 240 physicians, labs, healthcare and related services WINGS provides FULL care for $14,373.

WINGS receives no government funding and relies solely on donations from foundations, corporations and individuals. WINGS is designed to fill the vacuum that exists between detection and treatment. Ninety-two percent of the funds go directly to patient treatment and care.

“You can see on a daily basis the effect WINGS has on women’s lives; you give their life back.” –Oprah Winfrey

When Terri Jones made her presentation to our committee, we were all taken back by her passion and care for WINGS. We have a strong connection to every person who has ever had breast cancer. Julie’s family has a history of breast cancer and her mom is a fifteen year survivor. Thanks to early detection through mammography and appropriate treatment she is here today. We are sure many of you have the same story to share about a loved one.

We ask you to consider a donation this year to WINGS. It is a wonderful network of healthcare providers and care partners. In the face of this disease, WINGS remains committed to its mission- focusing on one woman at a time because everyone deserves a lifetime.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity,

Britt and Julie Lovin