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Raising Hope in Benton County

The Party in Pink 5K event is an annual fundraiser for the Gifts of Hope program through Virginia Gay Hospital Foundation, Virginia Gay Hospital, and its family medical clinics in Atkins, Van Horne, Urbana, and Vinton. The program offers assistance to women in Benton County for health services related to cancer diagnostics and treatment. In addition, it provides an opportunity to remind friends and neighbors of how truly critical early detection is in surviving a breast cancer diagnosis.

“In May 2014, after a routine mammogram that led to further testing, I heard the words — the tests came back positive, you have cancer.” That’s how Diana Bramow begins her story of cancer survival. “Those were tough words to hear, especially since my youngest brother had just passed away the month before from a brain hemorrhage. Telling my mom that I had cancer was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But, Dennis (my husband) and I would do whatever we needed to get through the journey we were chosen for. We were a foster family and had three children when I was diagnosed. The kids were with us through our journey and the reason I got out of bed some mornings.”

Diana’s message includes a plea for women to get their yearly mammograms. “Just do it! Every year get a screening. It is the best gift you can give yourself, and early detection is so important. I have mine done at Virginia Gay Hospital, and the staff there are kind and very professional. If you cannot afford a screening, please let Robin Martin at Virginia Gay Hospital Foundation know — There is help through Gifts of Hope!”

As another local breast cancer survivor, Jessica Young shared she feels fortunate and blessed with early detection for her diagnosis. “Getting the news that I had breast cancer was an absolute shock to my family and me. But I’m so grateful for the tremendous support around me from my husband, my family, and my co-workers. My support team includes the Survivors of Benton County, and I’m grateful for having access to the Gifts of Hope fund.” Jessica has always been a supporter of breast cancer awareness even before her diagnosis, and now more than ever, she encourages yearly mammograms for early detection.

Breast cancer death rates for women in the U.S. are higher than those for any other cancer besides lung cancer. About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations resulting from the aging process and life in general rather than inherited mutations. (source: As both Diana and Jessica can attest, it’s essential to discuss your health concerns with your primary care provider and make time for recommended screenings, including mammograms, pelvic exams, and pap smears.

If you or someone you know needs assistance through Gifts of Hope for those types of services, please discuss it with a Virginia Gay Family Medical Clinic primary care provider in Atkins, Urbana, Van Horne, or Vinton. No application is needed. Just communicate the need for assistance in paying for breast cancer diagnosis or treatment services.


Registration is now open for the Ninth Annual Party in Pink 5K Walk/Run scheduled for Friday, June 18, at Vinton’s Riverside Park. This fundraiser is a joint effort through Virginia Gay Hospital, Virginia Gay Hospital Foundation and the Survivors of Benton County to raise funds for the Gifts of Hope program. Registrations are taken right up to the start of the race. For complete details, follow this link:

Learn more about Gifts of Hope and the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation at Questions regarding the Party in Pink 5K event or contributions to the Gifts of Hope fund should be directed to Robin Martin by phone at 319-472-6375 or by email at


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