The first thing you notice is that everything is pink.
The illustration wrapping the RV features a huge, pink sneaker, with pink ribbon laces. Scattered words are colored in shades of pink – the work “key” in “early detection is key,” and the “screened” in “get screened today.”
The traffic cones blocking off parking spaces around the RV are hot, neon pink.Pink is, of course, the national symbol for breast cancer fundraising, research and awareness, and that’s the reason this RV – parked outside Belk on U.S. 321 in Lenoir on Tuesday and today – is emblazoned in shades such as blush and salmon and rose.
This is the BelkGives on the Go Mobile Mammography Center, where women, insured or uninsured, can go to get mammograms for free.
Since January, the mobile mammography center has traveled from city to city, offering free mammograms in the parking lots of Belk stores. It will continue throughout the year, eventually hitting South Carolina and Tennessee as well.
It’s the result of a partnership between Belk and Charlotte Radiology. Women who book an appointment in the pink RV are screened in about 30 minutes, at no cost – whether they’re insured or not. For uninsured patients, Belk pays the full cost. For insured patients, they cover the co-pay.
Michelle Huneycutt, a registered technologist in mammography, has been traveling with the mobile mammography center since January. She said she has met many patients who wouldn’t have been screened otherwise – people who are uninsured, who lost their jobs or otherwise fell victim to circumstances.
It’s humbling to see, she said, because regular mammograms are so important.
“Early detection saves lives,” Huneycutt said. “The sooner a cancer’s detected, the better off the patient is.”
On Tuesday, Denise Drum walked up to the mobile mammography center. Her pale-pink polo matched the bright pinks of the RV perfectly.
When Drum found out about the mobile center’s stop in Lenoir, she booked an appointment right away. Then she called four of her friends, all of whom are uninsured.
Each of them scheduled a screening, too.