(Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
MONROE -- According to Bradie James, breast cancer doesn't have an off season.
"I lost my mom to breast cancer when I was in college, and always wanted to do something," he said.
The former Dallas Cowboys linebacker is back in his hometown to honor his mother's legacy.
Wednesday, he announced a new partnership between his breast cancer charity, Foundation 56, and University Health Conway.
LSU Shreveport Partners in Wellness is helping him roll out a mobile mammogram unit, serving the twin cities and surrounding parishes.
"Get to women that otherwise wouldn't have the means to get a mammogram," he said.
People without insurance will have access to free breast cancer screenings and advice as the bus makes its way around Northeast Louisiana.
"The women who are 40 and over who don't have health insurance, who normally would not be able to get screening mammogram, will be able to attend our van monthly, free of charge," said Jennifer Lance,
Partners in Wellness project coordinator.
Foundation 56 is a tribute to James' mother, Etta, who lost her battle to breast cancer in 2001.
"It took everybody by surprise, snuck right up on us," said Donnell Ellis.
"These are some of the programs where I feel like if they were in place, she wouldn't be gone from us," James said.
And the foundation goes the whole nine yards, not only providing free screenings, but also other services including diagnotic testing, wigs and even support groups for breast cancer patients.
"This is an opportunity for women to take care of themselves. They tend to take care of their family first and themselve second," said Lance.
"Those women that may have it, or haven't been screened, it stings in place to help them now, and that's all i wanted, was to come back and make that impact," said James.
This bus will make its first stop at the Walmart in Monroe in November 22. After that, it'll make a stop at the West Monroe Walmart on December 13. Officials say they hope for the program to start picking up and making its rounds to the other parishes by the start of next year.
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