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Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated is bringing its fight against breast cancer to underserved communities in Roanoke Rapids and surrounding towns. 

The service organization will have its AKA Mobile Mammography Unit available to provide free screenings on Friday, October, 4 and Saturday, October 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Walmart Shopping Center, 251 Premier Blvd in Roanoke Rapids. 

Uninsured women who are interested in getting a free mammogram must register first at this link or call 888-233-6121. 

"We’ve learned that breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in North Carolina, and each year, over 6,000 of our fellow citizens will be diagnosed with breast cancer," said Jennifer King Congleton, Alpha Kappa Alpha's Mid-Atlantic Regional director. "Our goal, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is to help educate women about the importance of early detection and to provide mammograms for women right here in Roanoke Rapids who may not be able to afford them." 

The sorority has partnered with Assured Imaging and Roanoke Valley Breast Care Coalition to provide the free screenings. Digital mammograms are recommended for women who are at least 40 years of age, have not had a previous mammogram in the past year, and do not have breast problems or complaints. 

Women between the ages of 35 and 39 can receive one baseline mammogram screening without an order. In addition to the free mammograms, educational materials and other valuable information on prevention will be disseminated to women who attend.

“Alpha Kappa Alpha members stand boldly poised to take on this new challenge to fight breast cancer, the number one cancer among women,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha International President Glenda Glover. “This is an extremely important moment in the history of Alpha Kappa Alpha because for 111 years, the sorority has implemented innovative programs that improve the lives of women, men, and children across the globe, and our legacy of exemplary service continues with our AKA Mammography Mobile Unit.”

Alpha Kappa Alpha is committed to addressing critical issues that impact the quality of life throughout the world, including women’s healthcare and wellness.  The sorority has a goal of reaching 100,000 women over four years with its breast cancer initiative. Chapters will work with local clinics, rural health centers, and hospitals to emphasize the need for African-American women to receive regular mammograms.

 “The key focus of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s breast cancer initiative is to provide women access to early detection and education when it comes to the disease,” said AKA International Program Chairman Ora Douglass. “Our overall mission is to help reduce the factors that lead to breast cancer in African-American women by having them visit our AKA Mammography Mobile Unit.”  

“The sorority’s mobile unit will help combat the lack of access to no cost mammograms in the region’s rural communities,” said Marla Jerman, president of Kappa Iota Omega chapter in Garysburg, the host for the event. “We are very fortunate to have this mobile mammography unit come to Roanoke Rapids and provide this vital service to uninsured women here and in surrounding areas. Women in rural communities should not go without mammograms because early detection saves lives.”