KOTA Cares: Black Hills Road Trip of Hope provides support for breast cancer patients

Updated: Aug. 24, 2023 at 7:00 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Everyone knows someone who has been impacted by cancer, and according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes.

On this week’s KOTA Cares, we spotlight Black Hills Road Trip of Hope and their goal to provide support for breast cancer patients in need.

Cancer doesn’t discriminate. Once a diagnosis is given life changes instantly and the last thing a patient should be worried about is how they’re going to pay for treatment or other bills.

Black Hills Road Trip of Hope relieves that burden by offering direct financial assistance to people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Cancer is terrifying. When you get that initial diagnosis, there are so many appointments, there are so many questions and concerns, and things you don’t know what to expect. It would be a tragedy if a patient had to choose between paying a bill and getting the treatment that they need,” said Holly Jones, a board member for the non-profit and a breast cancer survivor herself.

Cancer can take a toll on a person both physically and mentally. Members of Black Hills Road Trip of Hope work to provide a sense of stability in a time when everything may feel out of control.

From help with gas or hotel stays, and even funds to pay a phone or electric bill, the organization is there to support their breast cancer warriors.

“So, every person has their own struggles when they go through it and that’s what we want to be able to help, some of the women who just don’t know what they’re going to do or where they’re going to turn to, where they’re going to be able to find some resources,” said Mary Stein, another survivor and secretary for Black Hills Road Trip of Hope.

“We spend the money that we get trying to make a difference in their life. It takes money to do that and the more contributions we have, the more people we’re able to help,” added Brad Curtis, treasurer for the non-profit.

Yearly screening exams can help detect breast abnormalities, if breast cancer is found early there are more treatment options for a better chance of survival.

“The recommendation is that women start screening mammograms at the age of 40 every year. So that’s when we recommend that people start. If you’re considered a high-risk patient, maybe your mom has a history of breast cancer or your sister, then sometimes we’ll recommend starting you earlier,” said Joel Brink, head of breast imaging for Dakota Radiology and Monument Health.

Black Hills Road Trip of Hope has raised nearly $38,000 and has helped support 80 women undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Black Hills Road Trip of Hope is hosting several events to help raise money and support their breast cancer warriors.

These events include their Oktoberbreast in September and a Hope in the Hills murder mystery fundraiser in October.

To donate to this week’s KOTA Cares, click here.