Presented $2.25M in federal funding
In Aug. 2020, Vera Parker of Renova received a life-altering diagnosis—breast cancer.
Without a car, Parker didn’t know how she would get to Greenville—more than 30 miles away from her home—to receive the 33 treatments of radiation she needed to fight the disease. She initially tried using a local transportation service, but the expenses quickly added up.
“I started calling around looking for assistance, and someone directed me to the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation,” shared Parker. “The organization helped me to get through my treatments. Mrs. Freddie White-Johnson helped me out a lot, and I’m just so grateful.”
Parker, who has been cancer-free since Dec. 2021, said she don’t know how she would have made it without the support of the FLHCF.
“The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation saved my life,” she said. “It’s just so important that we have these types of resources available in the community.”
Founded in 2014, the FLHCF’s mission is to eradicate and prevent cancer through education, support services, research and advocacy. Since its founding, the organization has provided more than 10,000 underserved women with free mammograms & pap tests. In addition, more than 1,200 men have received free prostate cancer screenings through the organization.
Now, the non-profit organization is on its way to expanding services available to the community with the building of a headquarters location in Ruleville, Miss.
Congressman Bennie Thompson voted to fund $10,527,500 in Community Project Funding that he previously secured for the 2nd Congressional District. This funding, included in the appropriations government funding package, responds directly to some of the most pressing needs in the Mississippi Delta.
According to Congressman Thompson, the twelve-bill government funding package will help middle class families with the cost of living, create American jobs, supports the vulnerable and works to help small businesses and restaurants that are key to our economic future.
Collectively, the funding for the 2nd Congressional District along with the funding increases for critical government programs will reverse decades of disinvestment in our communities and healthcare system.
Thompson recently presented the FLHCF with $2.25 million to assist with the revitalization of the cancer resource center. The funds were part of the $10.5 million dollar package of federal funding announced by Thompson for the 2nd Congressional District. In order to receive these federal funds, the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation must complete a federal application and will need 25% matching funds.
“The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation is needed due to people are dying prematurely from this dreadful disease and the health disparities is overwhelming in the Mississippi Second Congressional District,” said Thompson.
Thompson believes the center will bring much-needed resources to the Mississippi Delta.
“This center will be a game changer through its advocacy and education by improving the health outcomes of residents living in the Mississippi Delta,” he said. “It is my hope the Foundation will improve the relationship with patients and doctors by meeting the specific needs of the community.”
Longtime FLHCF Board Member Dr. Cassie Pennington of Indianola said he’s elated for the support and progress of the project.
“It’s just great…for many years we have been working on this project and to finally see it come to fruition is amazing. We can’t thank Congressman Thompson enough for his support,” said Pennington.
“I’ve been here with this organization from the beginning and a lot people thought we wouldn’t see this project come to fruition, but through the perseverance of the board and Mrs. White-Johnson it has, and we couldn’t be more grateful,” he added.
For FLHCF Founder and CEO Freddie White-Johnson, the construction is an answered prayer.
“This project has been a long time coming. We appreciate Congressman Thompson for recognizing the work we’re doing and supporting our vision. We’re elated to see more funding being put into community-based organizations,” she said.
However, the journey has not been without challenges.
According the White-Johnson, Phase 1 of construction was scheduled to be completed last fall by Sept. 15, 2021, but after several delays with the construction company, the project was stalled.
“I’m very disappointed about the delays with Phase 1 which should have been a 60-day project, but turned into a 10-month delay. As of July 13, 2022, we are one year behind with this project. I will continue to remain steadfast and take one day at a time,” said White-Johnson
Now, with a new construction company on board, White-Johnson said she remains committed to seeing the project through to completion.
“This project came about because I saw a need to create an infrastructure in the community that not only provides resources, but empowered people,” she shared.
White-Johnson said she created the organization as an infrastructure in the community that not only provides resources but empowers people.
“I’m thankful to God, Congressman Bennie Thompson, the State of Mississippi, donors, volunteer and our countless supporters—people from all walks of life who have made a commitment to our organization over the years,” she said.
“This headquarters facility will be a blessing not only to the Mississippi Delta, but the entire State of Mississippi. The task is extremely difficult, but I trust God’s process.”
To learn more or to support the work of the FLHCF, visit www.flhcf.com.