FLINT — Having been a Breast Health Navigator since 2008, Marsha Schmit has helped hundreds of patients with breast cancer, guiding women through the long and difficult journey they face after being diagnosed. Schmit is committed to reducing stress and getting people on the road to recovery.
When appointed to the Breast Health Navigator position in 2008, Schmit brought with her more than 20 years of experience and immediately began trying to develop a clear and informative plan for her patients to help with the complicated and trying process of dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis.
“The goal of a Breast Health Navigator and the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at Hurley is ultimately to have resources available so that women can successfully navigate their journey with breast cancer,” said Schmit. “There are a lot of things to take into account, and you need resources for testing, resources to help pay copays for all the doctor visits, medical bills, utility bills, or prostheses and wigs and things like that. Also, there are a ton of extra expenses that will show up.”
Schmit began developing a program for women with breast cancer, first asking survivors what kinds of things were missing from their previous treatments and what would help them to better heal. She said the one thing that always came up was that patients were lacking in education. Also, after hearing that they have cancer, it’s difficult for many patients to think about everyday tasks, let alone take into account how quickly bills can pile up.
But that’s where Schmit and the Hurley Medical Center’s Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program come in. They are there after you calm down and begin to process the information, once you start figuring out the questions you want to ask. And they’ll answer some you didn’t even know you had, helping you every step of the way.
Because of the costs associated with programs like these, Hurley has enlisted the help of the community, hosting a number of events and fundraisers to help benefit these women in need. The largest of the fundraisers that directly supplement the Breast Navigator Program is Pink Night Palooza.
The Pink Night Palooza event was announced last year when Financial Plus Credit Union’s Pink Night fundraiser teamed up with Hurley Foundation’s Pink Palooza fundraiser. The two groups joined forces last year to much success and will continue the Pink Night events this year, including the Drink for Pink Fundraiser, which took place in July, and the upcoming Get Pampered for Pink, held Aug. 24.
“We were able to raise a little over $100,000 last year, so it was a very, very successful event,” said Schmit. “It was awesome, and the community has been fantastic in their support and sponsorship of the event. And the beautiful thing about it is that 100 percent of the resources we raise go to patient care.”
Pink Night Palooza event will be held at the Holiday Inn & Gateway Centre in Flint, and is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 5 from 5-11 p.m.Tickets for Pink Night Palooza are still available and can be purchased online at www.hurleymc.com/pink.
— Alex Petrie