The Times West Virginian

Local News

December 7, 2013

Free resources for breast cancer patients available at FGH

FAIRMONT — Those who have battled breast cancer know that it can be very costly, but now Fairmont General Hospital and the American Cancer Society have teamed up to take some financial stress off patients.

Tricia Julian, program coordinator for Oncology Services at FGH, said the Cancer Resource Center (CRC) at the hospital has recently received a supply of mastectomy bras and forms. She said these items will be given to anyone in the community who needs them at no cost even if they aren’t a patient at FGH.

“It absolutely does not matter; I don’t use that as criteria,” Julian said. “I don’t care where they’re being treated or where they live; they can get supplies from us.”

One of the CRC’s volunteers, Connie Ahearns knows on a first-hand basis the financial strain on breast cancer patients. She is a five-year breast cancer survivor

“The forms can be a couple hundred dollars,” Ahearns said. “Most insurances cover most of that if not all of that, but some people don’t have insurance at all.”

Ahearns said the CRC received about 30 forms and 300 mastectomy bras from the American Cancer Society’s office in Morgantown.

“We have a variety of sizes of the forms and the bras,” she said. “They’re brand new. We have others that were donated but we washed them, and if they’re not in excellent condition we don’t offer them.”

The items are located in a former patient room at the hospital. Ahearns said this allows patients the privacy of trying the items on.

“Now we’re not professional fitters, but we’ll help them out the best we can,” she said. “We do have a conversion chart to try and get everybody in the right size.”

The CRC also provides patients with information and resources to help them through this stage of their life.

“I feel that the more information a person has about breast cancer, the less scary it is for them,” Ahearns said. “A lot of that fear is the fear of the unknown.”

The CRC is staffed with volunteers including Ahearns and has been open for a little over a year. Ahearns said she volunteers at the center because she wants to reach out to others suffering with breast cancer.

“It’s important for me to reach out to folks battling this stuff,” she said. “I went through the chemo and radiation, and if there’s anything I can do to smooth someone’s path, I want to do that.”

Julian said some of mastectomy items that breast cancer patients need were left over from the hospital’s Radiation Center. She added that having the items in one central location at the hospital near the Oncology Services also benefits the patients.

“We moved those over here and we switched locations within the past few months because of the Radiation Center being renovated,” she said. “It’s been an evolving process.”

Volunteers at the CRC asked if the items could permanently stay located near the Oncology Services.

“It’s much closer to the patients this way,” Julian said.

Julian said the items have only been located in the hospital for about a month but that the move has been positive.

“We’re really about the only place giving them out at no cost to women,” she said. “Several patients here have taken advantage of this, and no one has abused it. It’s been very well received.”

Getting free mastectomy bras and forms is just one service breast cancer patients can receive for free at FGH. The hospital’s Oncology Services also provide patients with the Wig Bank, which has been at the hospital for about 10 years.

Julian said she hopes the mastectomy items will be as popular as the Wig Bank, which offers breast cancer patients with free wigs, scarves and hats.

“We’ve probably seen a 10-fold increase in the use of the Wig Bank in the past two years,” she said.

Julian said the Oncology Services at FGH are always taking donations of wigs, scarves and hats.

“Everything is washed, and we only give away items that are in good condition,” she said.

Both Ahearns and Julian want the word to spread about the mastectomy items being offered by the CRC.

“We want people to know it’s available because we want to help them,” Ahearns said.

For more information on how to get free mastectomy items or items from the Wig Bank, contact Tricia Julian at Fairmont General Hospital’s Oncology Services at 304-367-7247.

Email Emily Gallagher at or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

Text Only
Local News
  • erin autism 1.jpg East Dale student, loyal to twin bother, promotes autism awareness

    Erin Pride, 12, is a sixth-grader at East Dale Elementary School.
    She likes to play basketball, is a Girl Scout and just started learning the clarinet for school band.
    This Christmas, she received a rubber band bracelet loom. Rubber brand bracelets are very popular, and she started making bracelets and trading them at school.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tuesday deadline for voter registration

    The deadline for new voters to register before the May 13 primary is fast approaching.
    Residents have until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday to go to a government office, such as the county clerk’s office or the DMV, and fill out a voter registration card.

    April 19, 2014

  • Swimming Challenge available for children with autism

    The Corridor Chapter of the Autism Society of West Virginia (AS-WV) and the YMCA of Clarksburg will be sponsoring the second annual Swimming Challenge for children affected by autism.
    The swimming challenge gives children with autism the opportunity to attend swimming lessons and work on their swimming skills one-on-one.

    April 19, 2014

  • CASA Superhero 5K set for April 26

    The second annual CASA Superhero 5K will be held April 26 in Fairmont.
    The event is at East Marion (Wave Pool) Park and is an annual fundraiser for CASA programs in Harrison, Marion, Monongalia and Preston counties.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041814 Fishing 2.jpg Fun, prizes mark annual event at Curtisville Lake

    An annual family fishing event begins at 9:30 a.m. today.
    The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are having the annual Family Fishing Day. The event will take place today at Curtisville Lake, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. and prizes being given away at 10:30 a.m.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police: Shooting of boy accidental

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.
    On Wednesday, April 9, at 7:52 p.m., police were dispatched to a Fairmont residence after an 11-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound inside the home.

    April 18, 2014

  • FGH oncology to benefit from cleanup

    Proceeds from this year’s town cleanup and recycling in White Hall will go toward comforting local cancer patients.
    During Monday’s council meeting, recorder Charlie Mason said the town will hold its annual cleanup from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 3, at Fabric and Foam in White Hall. He said only White Hall residents may bring their garbage to throw away, but any Marion County resident may bring metal (excluding computers, televisions and tires) to recycle.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pleasant Valley approves phase two of cemetery project

    Pleasant Valley City Council approved phase two of a project to fence in Samuel Linn Cemetery in Benton’s Ferry at the council meeting Tuesday.
    The cemetery was started in 1852, with the death of Samuel Linn.

    April 18, 2014

  • UPDATE: Police say 11-year-old shot in 'accidental discharge of a firearm'

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.

    April 17, 2014

  • Attorney General - CB.jpg Morrisey wants to work with all to ‘help transform West Virginia’

    State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wants to work with citizens to “help transform West Virginia.”
    Morrisey was the guest speaker for the Marion County Chamber of Commerce’s “Lunch and Learn” event Wednesday at the Mon Power headquarters, located in the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont. His trip to the Friendly City followed a town hall meeting in Harrison County Tuesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads