Rubber ducks helping raise funds for breast cancer testing in SWFL

Bucks for Ducks (WINK News)

Catching breast cancer early can save your life, but not everyone can afford early detection.

But now, rubber ducks can change that.

“I personally want to thank anyone who has ever bought a duck or run a race,” said Jacquie Fields, a breast cancer survivor from Lee County.

“Because you helped save my life,” she said.

Fields says she put off having a mammogram after finding a lump on her breast because of the cost.

“If I had put it off another year, I may not be alive sitting here telling you that,” she said.

When she finally did get checked at the Lee Health Regional Cancer Center, money raised from the Bucks for Ducks Fund helped pay for that testing.

“I feel like it’s a godsend,” said Fields.

The ducks are cheap; you can get one for $3 or two for $5. That money goes a long way toward helping breast cancer patients.

“We’ve been able to raise over $15,000 for this program,” said Diana McEnerney, director of health imaging at the Center.

She says insurance covers most routine 2-D and 3-D mammograms. However, for the uninsured or under-insured, it could cost a lot.

Healthcare Blue Book says a 3-D digital diagnostic mammogram can cost nearly $250.

Money that Rie Iahara, a breast surgeon at the Center, says can be hard to find.

“Some of our women are not capable of doing that,” said Iahara.

But thanks to the ducks, patients at the Center get the tests they need, and in the best-case scenario, end up like Fields.

“I’m cancer-free and ready to get back at it,” she said.

While the program is at Lee Health, the Center says the ducks help pay for patients form Lee, Glades, Hendry, Charlotte and Collier Counties.

They’ll hold a blessing of the ducks that people bought on Oct. 31.

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