Local radio host holds annual mammogram party

WEST ALLIS -- For women over 40, getting a mammogram can be a scary, daunting task, but a necessary one to detect breast cancer.

On Friday, local radio station FM 106.1 stepped in to help ease dozens of women through the process.  Morning show host Karen Dalessandro and Aurora Healthcare hosted the 10th annual "Checkup for Chicks" party, an event devoted to pampering women and providing mammograms at the same time.

“This day is all about encouraging women to get their screening and to also not be afraid of anything in that room.  It makes it a lot easier of a process,” said Dalessandro. 

A total of 50 women were treated with breakfast, massages and pink hair extensions at four different sites.  They were nominated by loved ones to receive the special treatment.

“I was really honored and very touched that she did nominate me,” said participant Sharon Dull, who was nominated by her sister.

Kris Kaufman nominated her to get a screening.  It’s a checkup that saved her life.

“I thought why not, I'll go get one.  It's lucky I did because if I didn't, I don't know where I'd be,” said Kaufman, who’s now 1 year cancer free. 

“She supported me through the whole thing.  The surgeries, the radiation, bringing me lunch and things like that, so I just wanted to do something nice for her,” she said.

“Mammograms are important because they are necessary for early detection of breast cancer, so women starting at age 40 need to have a mammogram every year,” said Kim Melcher, coordinator of the Wisconsin Well woman Program.

The women at the event shared similar stories, including the program's founder.

“My own mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, so that really brought the whole thing to me,” said Dalessandro.

When the program started 10 years ago, only five women got mammograms.  Hundreds now have gotten them through these parties.

If you are in need of a mammogram, the Wisconsin Well Woman program provides them to underinsured or uninsured individuals over 40.  For more information, click here.