The WVU Cancer Institute held its annual Pink Party event on Monday, September 10, to benefit Bonnie’s Bus, the mobile mammography unit that travels across West Virginia to provide mammograms to the women of the state.

A record year for the event, Bartini Prime in Suncrest Towne Centre hosted nearly 200 individuals and raised more than $60,000 to support mobile mammography efforts across the state.

With more than $30,000 of the $60,000 being raised through “Fund the Mission,” a live opportunity for attendees to donate in real-time, Pink Party guests such as Jo Statler reminded individuals just how much of an impact their generosity has.

“It was incredible to see so many people gather to support an initiative that truly benefits the women of West Virginia,” said Jo Statler, founder of Bonnie’s Bus. “I established the bus in honor of my mother, Bonnie Wells Wilson, who was diagnosed with and later passed away from breast cancer. My initial hope for this bus was to provide mammograms for women who needed it most, and I feel the bus has done just that. The efforts shown at the Pink Party were truly wonderful, and with these funds, the bus can continue to travel across the state.”

Breast cancer makes up nearly 25 percent of all female cancers, and is the second most common cause of death among women in West Virginia. Established in 2009, the bus has provided over 17,000 mammograms and detected at least 80 cases of breast cancer.

"We serve and care for patients on Bonnie's Bus from all over the state,” said Jenny Ostien, director of mobile screening for the WVU Cancer Institute. “Many patients are under or uninsured and we work hard to make sure all woman over the age of 40 are able to get screened, regardless of their ability to pay. Events like the Pink Park make that a reality and this year we had another successful event.”

Bonnie’s Bus provides mammograms to women who carry insurance, are underinsured or completely uninsured. As the bus does not turn any woman over the age of 40 away, potentially life-saving mammograms are provided to those who otherwise may not have access to care, like patient Mary Myers of Grafton, W.Va.

“I had my first experience with Bonnie’s Bus in 2016,” said Myers. “After receiving my initial mammogram through the bus, I was called a week later for a follow-up mammogram where I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Had I not taken advantage of the bus and its services, the outcome could have been much different for me.”

The bus continues to work in partnership with WVU Hospitals, and as a result of sheer generosity through the WVU Cancer Institute’s Pink Party, the monies raised will not only continue to offer mammograms and breast care education to women, but continue its effort to lower the cancer burden across the state of West Virginia.

To make a gift to Bonnie’s Bus, support breast care for West Virginia women and support the WVU Cancer Institute, please contact Scarlett Schneider, PhD, senior director of development, at 304-293-7732 or scarlett.schneider@hsc.wvu.edu.

For more information surrounding the Pink Party and its efforts to support Bonnie’s Bus, please contact Daniel Hare, market engagement director, at 304-293-4597 or daniel.hare@hsc.wvu.edu.

Gifts are made through the WVU Foundation, the non-profit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.

-HD- @WVUF