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Dole Family Foundation Funds Cancer Screening Services through Planned Parenthood

Published: 02.14.12| Updated: 02.14.12

TRAVERSE CITY — The Dole Family Foundation continues a second year of funding for cancer screening services at Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan with a combined two-year gift of $35,000. A significant portion of the Dole gift establishes a fund to provide colposcopy services to Traverse City residents who would otherwise go without this potentially life-saving service.

“Cancer is not only predominant in my Native American community, but in my family as well,” shared one Traverse City client who was directly impacted by the Dole gift. “To me, my health and well being is always a top priority, but this procedure was going to have to wait. I cried with relief when the amazing staff called and told me that they found me help.”

According to the Michigan Cancer Consortium report titled, “The Cancer Burden in Michigan: Selected Statistics,” Grand Traverse, Berrien, Alpena and southeastern Michigan have a higher rate of cervical cancer incidence and mortality than other similar counties in Michigan. Fifty to 60 percent of women who die from invasive cervical cancer have either never had a Pap test, or have not had a Pap test in the past five years. Lack of screening and appropriate follow up - like colposcopy screening - is the most significant risk factor for development of cervical cancer.

“As a family foundation we do not usually donate to health organizations,” expressed Betsy Dole on behalf of the foundation. “Our focus is primarily on the environment, but we chose to make these gifts because of our strong belief in the importance of basic health care. Our intent is to serve women who fall through the cracks and we trust Planned Parenthood to do that for us.”

“Most of the women we see are under or uninsured,” stated Keri McDonald, PPWNM RN. “They would not be having this critical procedure done if not for the Dole’s incredible generosity.”

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Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan provides reproductive health care and sexuality education services, with locations in eight Michigan cities. Learn more at www.ppwnm.org.

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