The bride who beat breast cancer

You pick the venue, sample different cakes, shop for that perfect dress, decide on the first song you’ll dance as husband and wife, and schedule your breast cancer treatment. Wait, cancer treatment? Unfortunately for Polly Workman, cancer was more a part of her wedding planning than she ever imagined. Thankfully, Parkview and Francine’s Friends were there to help.

Francine’s Friends, a mobile mammography coach, provides lifesaving services to women in Northeast Indiana who might otherwise not be able to receive them. They promote early detection of breast cancer by making screening mammography more accessible to all women. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer ranks second among cancer deaths in women.

To help the fight against breast cancer, Parkview Foundation’s 16th Annual Cookin’ Men is once again bringing together local men to don chef hats, generous volunteers, and committed attendees to raise much-needed funds to support Francie’s Friends. The generosity of the community, which lies at the heart of this annual gathering, ensures women have access to quality healthcare and preventative initiatives. This year, our efforts are aimed at supporting women like Polly.

“It had been a couple of years, if not more, since I’d had a mammogram. [The last time,] Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography was parked right outside of my work ΜΆ almost like a sign. I had to have a biopsy done, but it came back fine. I received another mammogram and then I waited about four years,” explained Polly of her journey with breast cancer.

Polly, an employee at Steel Dynamics, Inc. (SDI), found herself in the Francine’s Friends coach once again years later, in 2018, for a mammogram. Only this time her results were much different.

“I was told that I had breast cancer,” Polly said. She was diagnosed nearly three months before she would walk down the aisle in her wedding. “I had invasive lumpectomy surgery to attempt to remove the cancer and some lymph nodes. The lumpectomy was three weeks before I was supposed to put on my wedding dress and get married,” she continued, emotion thick in her tone.

Along with the surgery, Polly would undergo 20 radiation treatments. While she had a family history of cancer – her mother had battled breast cancer and her paternal aunt passed away at only 41 years old from the disease – the diagnosis was shocking to receive as a mother herself.

“Francine’s Friends was beyond amazing. While they offer great services and assistance for those in need of financial support – I went to Francine’s Friends because they were convenient, helpful, caring, and ready to fight this battle with me,” she shared.

Polly married her husband on April 28, 2018 and received her final radiation treatment at Parkview’s Cancer Center on June 19 of that same year – around the time the new Parkview Cancer Institute (PCI) opened. Thanks to your generosity, community support and the valued services of Francine’s Friends, Polly is not only enjoying time with her husband and family today, but others are as well. Through your giving, Francine’s Friends has been able to perform over 15,982 mammograms, afford over 11,226 first-screen mammograms and provide diagnostic services to more than 43,900 women since it began serving the community in 2005.

If you would like to schedule a mammogram, please call (260) 483-1847 or (800) 727-8429 ext. 68120. You can also view the upcoming Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography coach schedule here.

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