• Maggie Goldsmith

Helping Neighbors: F.I.S.H. / Zonta Partnership Makes a Difference In Our Neighbors’ Lives

In 2016, The Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida awarded F.I.S.H. OF SANCAP with a grant to partially fund two FISH programs – Mobile Mammogram and Woman’s Health (medical expenses). Both programs are made available to all qualified female clients of F.I.S.H.

In March, May and September of 2016, F.I.S.H. sponsored a Mobile Mammogram event at the Bailey’s General Store parking lot. In conjunction with The Radiology Regional Center, headquartered in Fort Myers, FL, a Mobile Mammography with state of the art technology, expert staff, and superior service was offered to women aged 40 and over. Those needing financial assistance to cover the cost of the mammogram were referred to FISH.

“When I think of mammograms, I always think the age old saying, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’” states Jessi Zeigler, FISH Program Director. “Early detection and prompt treatment can increase the survival rate. It has been noted that annual mammograms can detect cancer early, when it is most treatable. Over the years of offering this service, only a few diagnoses have revealed breast cancer. Other cases were referred for further diagnostic testing and/or biopsies due to abnormal readings,” She continues, “With Zonta funding, FISH was able to provide partial financial assistance for this testing. The women who participate in this program are so thankful that this opportunity exists, especially right in their own backyard.”

F.I.S.H. is equally as thankful to have assisted many women with medical expenses, again through their Zonta partnership. One example is of Mary, a young woman, experiencing itchy, blistery skin, headaches and fatigue, joint pain and heartburn, and gastrointestinal distress. While her insurance covered a portion of her doctor visits and testing, she needed additional financial assistance to pay the remaining test and treatment bills. She contacted FISH requesting medically related financial assistance, which, after case and document review by FISH, was approved. “After meeting with Mary and reviewing her case, I could feel her struggle,” explains Zeigler. “She had already made four visits to several doctors, that included blood tests and an endoscopy, and needed further testing. The bills were beginning to overwhelm her, and it broke my heart as she explained her situation, through her tears, in my office. Thankfully, we were able to help.”

After further testing, it was determined Mary suffers from Celiac disease. Her doctor prescribed medication to control inflammation, ointments to control the rash, and suggested a gluten free diet. F.I.S.H. was able to assist with these expenses and to refer Mary to nutrition resources that would help get her on the road to recovery.

All emergency financial assistance cases must meet certain qualifications as determined through a detailed intake process. Financial documentation must be provided to FISH before case approval. Each case is evaluated privately, on an individual and per instance basis. There is no guarantee of financial assistance from FISH. FISH relies on community support to fund all programs. 100% of all contributions are used by FISH to support its mission. F.I.S.H. OF SANCAP is a United Way house and an equal opportunity provider. To learn more about the FISH Mobile Mammogram and Medical Emergency Financial Assistance programs, please contact FISH at 239-472-4775.

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2430-B Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

24-Hour Service: 239-472-0404 ~ Walk-In Center Office: 239-472-4775

info@fishofsancap.org ~ Fax:  239-243-9009 ~ EIN: 20-8892375

F.I.S.H. is an equal opportunity provider

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