Gift of Life tribute to namesake Julie Rogers continues special service
Published 12:22 am Friday, April 14, 2023
Gift of Life recently celebrated the April 6 birthday of its namesake, the late Julie Rogers, by dedicating a breast health screening site in her loving memory at Diagnostic Health Center.
The location is where nearly 30 medically underserved, Port Arthur women received mammograms and any necessary diagnostic tests. The naming honors Rogers, a true humanitarian.
“I am a single mother of two,” shared one client. “My husband passed away at a young age. Life can be challenging, and it is hard to care for my health when finances and a language barrier are an issue. But I know I need to stay healthy for my children. So, I am very grateful for the free mammogram I received today because of Gift of Life. I would not have been able to have a breast cancer screening without this help.”
Rogers, a vibrant, passionate philanthropist who, along with husband Ben dedicated her life to caring for those in need, passed away in 1998 following complications from a heart attack and stroke.
The “legacy of love” she imparted to her family and friends continues to make transformational changes in the lives of Southeast Texans.
“My mother always said, ‘There but by the grace of God go I,’” said Gift of Life Founder & Chair Regina Rogers, who was present at the site to warmly welcome clients.
“It was something she repeated to me throughout my lifetime as a reminder that we have so much for which to be grateful. She and my father taught me that life is about helping others. I am forever humbled by their legacy of love.”
As a breast cancer survivor, Rogers was deeply empathetic to those who battled the disease and particularly the many individuals who lacked health insurance or the financial means to access the care they needed.
In 1994, when Baptist Hospital’s Julie & Ben Rogers Cancer Institute was dedicated in honor of Julie and Ben, Regina made a surprise donation to provide 500 free mammograms as a tribute to her mother, who had been incapacitated by a stroke.
The initiative, in collaboration with Baptist Hospital, began as a one-time donation to offer a limited number of mammograms to local women in need and then access to care if they were diagnosed with breast cancer.
However, the demand for these services was so great that Rogers continued its lifesaving mission, and now, with the support of hundreds of donors and volunteers, provides nearly 2,000 screenings each year to residents of seven Southeast Texas counties.
The endeavor also expanded to include prostate cancer screenings, a “Don’t Smoke/Vape Your Life Away” program and educational awareness about breast, prostate, ovarian, brain and esophageal cancers.
Since its inception, the organization has made available nearly 43,000 breast cancer screenings and helped extend the lives of nearly 300 women who have been diagnosed with the disease and navigated through treatment.
For more information about Gift of Life or to determine if you’re eligible to attend an upcoming screening site, call 409-833-3663 or visit giftoflifebmt.org.