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Pretty in pink

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By Robin Bass

Pink.

It’s not the first color that comes to mind when someone mentions Greenwell Brothers Propane. Yet, when their largest bobtail went into a local body shop for a makeover – it came out painted a pretty shade of blush.

Don’t worry, said Jennifer Baxter, they meant to do it.

Baxter, general manager of Greenwell Brothers, said she was at a propane conference when she first heard about Fuel for Hope. It’s a program created by the American Breast Cancer Foundation designed to join forces with businesses in the fight against breast cancer. A total of 26 propane companies are listed as partners on the ABCF website, including Greenwell Brothers.

“The program made a whole lot of sense for us,” said Baxter. “It made a lot of sense because our mother had breast cancer.”

Baxter and her three siblings are owners of Greenwell Brothers in Taylorsville. The company was started by their father, Henry Greenwell, and his brother Paul in the late 1940s.

Baxter said that in addition to creating awareness about ABCF and their services, Greenwell Brothers has agreed to donate one penny for every gallon delivered by the 3200-gallon bobtail. That means every time the pink truck is refilled, roughly another $32 goes toward helping women fight breast cancer. Baxter said her plans are to expand the truck’s daily use later this year by sending it on service routes through neighboring counties. Greenwell Brothers has customers in every county bordering Spencer and several more beyond.

“We don’t know what the exact amount will be, but we feel really good about doing this because this is what our family went through,” said Baxter.

Fear and uncertainty

Mary Lucy Greenwell could be considered one of the lucky ones. Yes, she was diagnosed with breast cancer at only 55 years of age. But her aggressive attack on the disease provided her time to not only raise her children, but live cancer-free to see her 86th birthday.

“She understood what she had to do to take care of herself,” said Baxter. That meant undergoing a mastectomy.

A high school senior at the time, Baxter admitted that she really did not comprehend all that her mother was going through.

Her younger sister’s memories are of feeling scared.

“It was quite devastating for her and for us because we didn’t know what the outcome would be,” said Rachel Henry.

After the surgery, Henry said she would help their mother with the physical therapy exercises before heading off to basketball practice each morning. The prognosis seemed good, Henry said, but the uncertainty of cancer was something she found difficult to deal with.

“This organization really helps people that are scared like that,” said Baxter.

ABCs of ABCF

The American Breast Cancer Foundation’s  mission is to provide early detection education, and screening services to those in need, no matter what age, race, sex, or financial situation.

Along with personalized support, the non-profit organization is committed to providing both uninsured and underinsured individuals with the opportunity to be tested and treated for breast cancer. Each year, thousands of clients undergo biopsy procedures through ABCF’s Key to Life Breast Cancer Assistance program. In 2008, they provided 7,204 grants for a client base of 7,912 individuals.

Assistance provided by the program includes:

• Clinical breast examinations

• Screening and diagnostic mammograms

• Ultrasounds

• Surgical consultations

• Biopsies

There are some instances where clients can receive help with prosthesis, specialized bras, emergency medication and wigs for chemotherapy patients.

The point to remember is that all women are at risk for breast cancer and ABCF believes that early detection is the key to saving lives. The organization has a toll free hotline for people wanting assistance or more information at 1-877-KEY-2-LIFE.

“We’re hoping local people will use these resources,” said Baxter.