I am a Brem Breast Imaging Fellow. I spend my days learning the most cutting-edge techniques in breast cancer diagnosis and understanding how to be a compassionate physician. Part of my role includes reaching out to communities by volunteering to support the Brem Foundation’s life-saving work. This year I had the privilege of doing so – but in an unconventional way – at the Redskins’ annual breast cancer awareness game.
The Redskins Foundation chose the Brem Foundation as its breast cancer charity of choice in 2016. Part of this partnership included donating proceeds of Redskins’ breast cancer t-shirt sales to support the Brem Foundation’s B-Fund, a fund that helps underinsured patients get critical diagnostic tests after an abnormal mammogram.
My volunteer experience while selling breast cancer awareness t-shirts at the Redskins game was impactful – and one that I knew was going to further the Brem Foundation’s mission of maximizing every woman’s chances of finding an early, curable breast cancer. It was also uplifting. I am used to seeing the patient side of breast care. Here I saw that many people were willing to buy these t-shirts just because the proceeds were supporting breast cancer work. Many of these people were either breast cancer survivors themselves or had a family member who was a breast cancer survivor.
But I didn’t just sell t-shirts. I had the opportunity to educate and give handouts to people about breast cancer, its prevention, and early diagnosis. Along with teaching others about breast cancer I, myself, learned how to effectively attract people to this worthy cause.
I volunteered with my husband and 13-year old daughter. Our booth was located at one of the main entrances to FedEx Field. Everyone who walked into that entrance was met with our pom-poms and breast cancer awareness signs. I volunteered for a total of four and a half hours, from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm. We had to reach the stadium at 10:00 am. During that one-hour time frame, we set-up our booth. At 11:00 am the Redskins fans rushed in to get their seats. The Redskins Foundation staff gave us Redskins breast awareness cancer t-shirts to wear. Wearing those t-shirts helped us show our customers how beautiful they looked. Being a part of the Brem Foundation made me proud to be wearing that t-shirt as it symbolized my support for breast cancer.
Overall volunteering for the Brem Foundation was an incredibly rewarding experience for me. It opened my eyes to a side of breast cancer work that I do not see everyday. I loved educating people about breast cancer. I felt blessed that my family was able to be a part of this mission with me. I never realized how rewarding volunteering for the Brem Foundation could be for me and my family. I encourage everyone – with kids or without – to consider volunteering for the Brem Foundation. It changed my life, and the lives of so many others, for the better.
Dr. Gauri Khorjekar graduated from Terna Medical College in Mumbai, India. She completed her Nuclear Medicine Residency at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. and received her board certification in Nuclear Medicine in 2013. She also completed her Radiology Residency at the George Washington University in 2016. Dr. Khorjekar lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter.