One Jamestown woman credits the No Excuses program for saving her life.
Despite the name of the annual program, Brenda Skavroneck, did have an excuse. The widow and mother of four, said she couldn’t afford preventative care like 3D mammograms and pap smears, even though she needed it.
Back then, Skavroneck said she knew something was wrong.
Most women menstruate for 4-7 days a month. Skavroneck’s monthly menstrual cycle lasted longer than normal. This caused her to limit activities outside of the house and affected her quality of life.
That’s when she saw an ad for No Excuses.
No Excuses removes any barrier women have to obtain preventative screenings. This year’s event is the third like it in a partnership between Central Valley Health District and Jamestown Regional Medical Center. No Excuses offers evening appointments, childcare and transportation along with help to pay for the screenings. The goal is to help women like Skavroneck who are underinsured and uninsured pay for mammograms and Pap tests.
Skavroneck knows firsthand what can happen if cancer is not caught early. Her husband, David Skavroneck, died in 2010 after Lymphoma spread through his body. David’s family has a predisposition to the disease. Even so, he waited too long to get help, Brenda said.
“Not only does cancer hurt the one who has it, but also the ones who love the person hurting. So when David was diagnosed, so were we,” she said. “Don’t procrastinate.”
Skavroneck took her own advice in November 2017 and attended the No Excuses event. Dr. Bailey Runkles, JRMC’s Gynecologist & Obstetrician, found a tumor and pre-cancerous polyps. As a precaution, Dr. Runkles performed a hysterectomy to remove the uterus.
“Dr. Runkles doesn’t make you feel like a dummy,” Skavroneck said with a smile. “She’s easy to talk to and makes it easy to say what’s really going on.”
Recovering from the surgery wasn’t easy, Skavroneck said, but today, she appreciates Dr. Runkles and the No Excuses program.
“I’m so very grateful,” she said. “I can go swimming again.”
No Excuses and the Women’s Way program through Central Valley Health also helped pay for most of Skavroneck’s surgery and in-patient care.
“There’s no excuse for women not to receive a basic screenings for breast and cervical cancer,” said JRMC Radiology Manager Jason Schaffer. “Our goal with No Excuses is to provide women’s health screenings and mammograms, at no-cost to them, all in one quick visit.”
In the three years since its inception, No Excuses has helped more than 100 women receive this life-saving screening. Because of No Excuses, these women received services that they otherwise couldn’t afford.
But No Excuses isn’t just for women who can’t afford it. Busy moms, grandmothers and professionals are also worthy candidates.
“If you’ve never had a mammogram, or it’s been a long time, you are definitely the woman we are looking for,” said Robin Iszler, registered nurse and unit administrator at Central Valley Health.
For more information on No Excuses, call JRMC at (701) 952-4163. To schedule a mammogram for any other day, call JRMC Mammography at (701) 952-4852.
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