Sherry Palmer: Grateful for fund for the girls

Sherry Palmer had been self-employed with her commercial and residential cleaning service for more than 20 years until the pandemic started in 2020, when her business, like so many others, came to a halt. Around that time, her doctor recommended she get a mammogram. The Vicksburg native decided to take advantage of Baptist’s mobile mammography van that traveled to her community twice a month. This is her story:

"I was really glad I could get the mammogram right here in my hometown. It was so convenient. After my mammogram, I received a call saying I needed to go to Baptist’s Breast Health Center in Jackson for another mammogram. I became concerned about why I needed a second one and about the cost. When the radiologist came in to discuss his concerns with my second mammogram and the subsequent sonogram, my head was spinning. I wondered ‘how am I going to pay for all this?’

Next, I met with my surgeon, Dr. Nathan Maples, who further explained my diagnosis and ordered a biopsy. I remember saying, ‘I can’t have breast cancer. I can’t afford to have breast cancer!’ During my biopsy, the tech held my hand the entire time. As a breast cancer survivor herself, she prayed with me and for me.

I was assigned a nurse navigator, Adrienne Russell, who was, and still is, my rock through this unbelievable journey. She told me about a unique program at Baptist called fund for the girls which assists uninsured and underinsured breast cancer patients, typically, if they apply and qualify prior to their imaging. I immediately applied for help.

I remember getting my letter of acceptance and crying tears of relief. The financial burden had been lifted.

Then, Dr. Maples and his nurse called to tell me my biopsy results showed I had invasive breast cancer. We were all so emotional during that phone call. They cried with me. He explained my surgical options, and, as a team, we came up with a plan.

It has been a tough journey, but having an exceptional team made it so doable. They all became my family. I’m doing well and continue to see my cancer care team for follow-ups. I’m so thankful to get a chance to see my grandchildren grow up and to pursue my new business endeavor.

Everyone at Baptist was amazing from the first day on the mammography van to my aftercare today. I am so grateful fund for the girls was there for me. No one should have to worry about the cost of breast cancer during treatment. They should have all their focus on rest and recovery. Baptist Health Foundation allowed me that blessing.”

If you need assistance getting quality breast health care, contact the Center for Breast Health at Baptist for Women to apply for help through fund for the girls at 601-973-3180.