At one of their final joint public appearances in office, Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear unveiled a new Horses and Hope mobile cancer screening unit in Lexington Friday.
Since 2008, expanded cancer screenings have occupied a special place on the First Lady’s wishlist. That much was evident during her remarks today, as she read off a list of public officials, her husband included, who credit their survival to the tests.
"I want to make sure that all Kentuckians have the same kind of access to screenings that they did," Beshear said, tearing up.
A few finishing touches remain for the custom van, but once the tour-bus-sized vehicle hits the road next March it will provide testing for seven different cancers – a necessity, supporters say, in a state with some of the highest cancer rates in the nation. Standing amongst a huddle of cancer survivors, many donning pink scarves, Doris Rosenbaum stressed the importance of taking services into communities.
"Louisville has a van, and Northern Kentucky, but they don't always get into parts of Eastern Kentucky and other areas that just don't get served," she said.
Inside the van, patients will discover a changing area, exam room, digital mammography equipment, and space for supportive laboratory services. Picking up the $1 million dollar price tag are 50 businesses and organizations partnering with the Kentucky Cancer Program, the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, and KentuckyOne Health.