Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center – Covington Cathy’s Story

Cathy Johnson has an extensive family history of cancer, making prevention and early detection important to her and her two daughters. This is why the group takes advantage of Prevention on the Go, a free prevention, education and early detection program offered by Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. The family treats the annual screening as a day to have fun, enjoy each other’s company, and take charge of their health.

The Cancer Center offers free screenings from its mobile unit throughout the year in the Northshore community, thanks to the generous support of individuals, companies, grantors and other donors.

Cathy heard about the breast cancer screening several years ago and called to confirm her daughter could participate without insurance. Early detection specialists at the Cancer Center let her know the screenings would be free without insurance. Services are also available at no cost to those with insurance. The three women decided to go together in support of each other. “We all came out feeling really good about it,” Cathy said.

Cathy and her daughters have continued attending a breast cancer screening each year, getting to know the Cancer Center’s team members. “They go over and beyond the call of duty, making you feel comfortable,” Cathy said. “They are tremendous in their jobs and want you to take part in what could save a lot of lives.”

Even amid a pandemic, Cathy made sure she and her daughters did not miss their scheduled time. “A lot of people put it off, but we were determined,” she said. The Prevention on the Go staff has many measures in place to ensure patients can be safely screened.

When she turned 65, Cathy became eligible for the colorectal test kit. After completing it, the test showed a spot that needed a closer look. The results were benign, but thanks to the Cancer Center’s screening, Cathy was able to catch and remove a polyp before it turned cancerous.

Now retired, Cathy is passionate about encouraging prevention and early detection. She hopes more people will choose to join her family each year. “Cancer has no boundaries. It affects everyone; male and female,” Cathy said. “I’m so grateful for the people who donate and give money to this worthy cause.”