Lynda Cavener recollects a somber day two decades back to emphasize her passion for assisting women in the fight against breast cancer.
“I lived through helping my mother and others navigate the process of cancer and heard a physician say, ‘Well, you probably can’t afford that treatment,’’’ said Cavener, treasurer of the Pensacola Breast Cancer Association and founder of the Ribbons of Hope Breast Cancer Awareness Charity Ball.
“This made me so angry, and I have been a part of the solution ever since,” said Cavener, whose mother died of cancer in 2003.
Moving from Christmas, Florida, to Pensacola in 2004, Cavener jumped right in helping indigent and under insured women by raising money for education, screening and diagnosis of breast cancer in the Florida Panhandle via the PBCA.
“I have always had a passion for helping people,” she said. “I did not know anyone at the time and developed a love for ballroom dancing. I was in my home office one day talking to myself, and I could hear my mom say, ‘Put your two passions together and start something phenomenal to help your new community.’ Well, that was many years ago, and we are now on the 13th Ribbons of Hope.”
Cavener said she and the other all-women volunteers on PBCA’s board of directors are relentless in trying to raise funds for the indigent and under insured.
“I believe in the butterfly effect. What you do today can affect generations to come! It is my hope that our efforts make a difference in the lives of others.”
All PBCA monies go to its mission. It has donated about $1 million since its inception, helping thousands of women, Cavener said. Currently, funds raised by PBCA are donated to local, non-profit medical centers that provide free mammograms to women (and some men) who are underinsured or without insurance altogether.
For more information about PBCA, to donate or volunteer, go to pensacolabreastcancerassociation.com.