Dinah Weable — clad in pink — stood proudly behind a new sign that bears her name in front of the Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center on Tuesday.
The sign was placed to commemorate the work the Dinah Weable Breast Cancer Survivor Board has done over the years. The board, which was started in 2007, has provided funding for more than 1,200 mammograms in Ellis County. The free mammograms help those who are uninsured or underinsured.
"We are thankful for the research that has been done in the fight against breast cancer," Weable said. "We celebrate our survivorship as we continue to offer help for others through paying for mammograms."
During the unveiling of the sign Tuesday afternoon, the board donated an additional $20,000 to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Waxahachie to continue providing mammograms.
Will Turner, president of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Waxahachie, said he is grateful for the partnership between the medical center and the board.
"There's nothing more special than serving our community. That's why we're here, and it's support like this that really helps us be able to deliver that care in so many more ways," Turner noted. "I can't think of a better use than being able to offer hope to a number of women in our community who may not have other options for getting this kind of care and getting it early."
Turner looks forward to continuing the work and touching lives in the community.
Mammograms are important when detecting breast cancer because they can offer early detection, which can save a patient's life.
That's what happened for Weable.
Weable said she got her annual mammogram, and for many years nothing was found. In 2001, that changed when a doctor detected something that wasn't there before.
It was a small mass, but it wasn't a death sentence because it was detected early. Weable's cancer was detected early enough that she was cancer-free after surgery and no harsh treatment.
A few years after her diagnosis, she and her husband, Ray, started the board to help others with early detection.
"We had no idea the scope it would take, and the fact that we have been able to donate," Weable explained. "That money comes from local people. Strictly people in our area that support what we want to do, which is continue paying for the mammograms."
For many years, Weable and her husband hosted an annual Pink Ribbons and Heart luncheon to raise money for mammograms. It started small with only 35 people in attendance and grew to nearly 300, Ray said. With the growth and the couple getting older, they decided this year will be the last luncheon.
"We've got people that look forward to it, year after year and we don't want to disappoint anyone," Dinah explained.
It wasn't an easy decision to come by, they added. Dinah also stated Tuesday that she will step down as the board's chairperson, and Cindy Smith will step in to fill her place.
Even without the luncheon to continue raising funds, the board has raised enough money to continue providing mammograms for the next seven years, Ray said.
"We wanted to make sure that the mammograms continued and we have been able to ensure that," Dinah explained.
The Weables said they are proud of the work they have done and see it continuing under Smith's lead. For now, they are going to enjoy the sign commemorating their work.
"It will outlive either of us," Dinah added.
Samantha Douty, @SamanthaDouty