State donates funds to Hamer center
by Paisley Boston
Apr 18, 2014 | 2815 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation is one step closer to building its $5.5 million headquarters in Ruleville.

The state recently donated $300,000 to the foundation and according to Sen. Willie Simmons; it was a very good investment.

"In my opinion, this is a very important project. Freddie Johnson and her committee have done a good job at raising local dollars," said Simmons.

"The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation Resource Center in Ruleville will allow people with cancer to receive a great deal of assistance and information that will help them cope with this devastating disease," he added.

Simmons said he and president of the FLHCF Freddie White-Johnson made a request to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves for the donation and it was approved.

"I hope that the state is successful in supporting the foundation and the resource center after it is built. I was very pleased that we were able to convince the leadership to support the foundation through funds," said Simmons.

"I think the resource center is going to be a phenomenal asset to Ruleville and to Bolivar County. I am really excited about it," he added.

The foundation will be located in Hamer's hometown of Ruleville.

It will include seminar rooms, a cancer resource library, a physical fitness center, a Hamer’s gallery, and a demonstration kitchen for nutrition classes, conference rooms, and offices.  

"I think because Ms. Hamer was who she was and the fact that she died from breast cancer makes this foundation so much more worthy," said Simmons.

The foundation's headquarters will be used to conduct cancer educate seminars, training, and cancer awareness activities to promote cancer screenings, early detection, physical activities and healthy diets.

"The foundation has been doing a great deal of work in the community. It has enabled a large amount of individuals to receive free medical screenings and provided support for individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer," continued Simmons.

Johnson said she is extremely grateful to have received the funds.

"I have assisted a large number of women in receiving free mammograms, pap smears and my foundation has even provided monetary donations to individuals who travel far distances to receive medical treatment," said Johnson.

"These funds will allow us to be to provide even more services to individuals with cancer," added Johnson.

According to Johnson, in 2012, the Foundation helped 423 women receive mammograms, and of the 423 women, 21 percent of them were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Johnson said the construction of the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation will be dedicated to saving lives and will establish a life-long legacy in memory of the Ruleville native, Fannie Lou Hamer who "shook the foundation of this Nation" with her courage, determination and willingness to undergo great personal sacrifices as an authentic voice of those who were impoverished and disenfranchised. 

Johnson also mentioned that the University of Southern Mississippi works with the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation to address cancer health disparities in Mississippi, particularly in the Mississippi Delta.

“Cancer does not discriminate on the basis of gender or race. It can affect anyone, and that is why I am dedicated to aid in the prevention or early detection of cancer among individuals who live in rural communities. All surrounding communities should come out and support the fight against breast cancer," she continued.

The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer awareness, independent, community-supported charitable organization dedicated to the eradication of cancer in Mississippi, particularly in the Mississippi Delta, through education, support services, research, and advocacy.

The foundation also received $40,000 from the Avon Foundation for Women in December.

For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation to support this project, make a check payable to the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation and mail to the foundation at Post Office Box 755, Ruleville, MS  38771 or contact Johnson at 662-392-5458.