Pay it Forward
When you have a family member battling a potentially fatal disease like breast cancer, you feel helpless. You want to do something to fix the problem, remove the anxiety or take away the pain.
The response is to do what we know to do: hold a hand, buy a meal or lend an ear, until an opportunity to do something more arises. That opportunity came recently for two Chattanooga men whose lives are affected by breast cancer.
The Breast Center at Floyd’s Mobile Mammography Coach is a 40-foot long pink and green rolling billboard, proclaiming a message of awareness and knowledge to northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. What many fail to see is that the Mobile Mammography Coach is much more than that. It is a medical clinic on wheels where trained technicians perform screening mammograms with the same clinical quality and attention to detail a patient would receive in The Breast Center.
Last year, the Mobile Mammography Coach traveled 9,226 miles to provide 2,854 mammograms. Of those, 812 patients were past due for a mammogram, 159 women had never had a mammogram and 225 screenings revealed an abnormality that required further testing. Fifteen women were diagnosed with cancer after their visit to Floyd’s Mobile Mammography Coach
But, the mobile clinic also is a motor vehicle. It needs fuel, oil changes and regular maintenance to its motor, transmission and electrical system.
Earlier this year, the mobile coach spent a couple of days in Chattanooga to get an electrical issue checked out by two mechanics at Freightliner.
The mechanics worked on the coach for two entire days, attempting to isolate the problem and fix it. They found the problem on the second day, but needed to order a part before repairs could be made. Realizing the Mobile Mammography coach is filled with sensitive medical equipment, the men offered to keep it overnight inside their climate-controlled garage to save wear and tear on the generator that would otherwise need to run.
When employees of The Breast Center went the next day to pick up the coach, they received a bill for the repair that was at least $2,000 less than it should have been. Three days and two mechanics plus storage and replacement parts for such a large, complicated specialty unit should equal far more than $1,000.
Not this time.
One of the mechanics who worked on the coach said his mother had died of the disease. The wife of the second mechanic is currently being treated for breast cancer.
Thankful for the care the important women in their lives received, the mechanics seized an opportunity to “pay it forward.” They donated the entire cost of their labor knowing that the savings will go toward helping more patients in the miles to come.