Dr. Barbie Sullivan’s Story
Passionate physician turned cancer survivor
Dr. Barbie Sullivan has been an OB-GYN at Baptist for more than 20 years. She has always been a strong advocate for screening mammograms and early intervention to detect breast cancer. In 2012, she was instrumental in starting fund for the girls, a program designed to provide vital screening mammograms and other breast health services to the uninsured and underinsured in Mississippi. Then, in October 2019, Dr. Sullivan heard the words a patient never wants to hear, "You have an abnormal mammogram."
"I was completely caught off guard," Dr. Sullivan recalled. "I had no symptoms and have no family history of breast cancer, but I did have my annual screening mammogram and that's how the abnormality was detected."
A biopsy revealed a very early malignancy and she opted for a bilateral mastectomy.
"Because of early detection, I am very fortunate to need no further treatment. If I had waited another year or longer, my outcome could have been much worse. My heart goes out to the women with a much different story, which is why I have been so passionate about fund for the girls. I want every Mississippian to be able to receive breast health services regardless of their ability to pay."
Fund for the girls supports underserved Mississippians by breaking down the financial barriers that keep many from seeking those needed services.
"I have advocated the importance of early detection for years," said Dr. Sullivan. "Now, I can give my own real-life testimony and, hopefully, encourage others to get their mammograms — maybe even save lives, because that is what early detection is all about."