Mother and Daughter Make Mammogram Screening a Family Affair

Cindy Supernaw and Cynthia ShumanAnnual mammogram screenings may be important for the early detection of breast cancer, but some women still put off having one for a variety of reasons. That’s what 52-year-old Brunswick resident Cindy Supernaw did for years until her mother, 75-year-old Cynthia Shuman, also of Brunswick, came up with an idea. “Why don’t we do it together?”

Cindy grew up in Brunswick, moved to Michigan where she lived for 18 years, and returned to the area in 2008. Ever since then, her mom, Cynthia, who works in Guest Services at the Southeast Georgia Health System Brunswick Campus and is also a Brunswick Campus Auxiliary volunteer, has been ‘bugging’ her about her yearly mammogram. “I hadn’t had one in 10 years,” Cindy recalls. “For a while, I didn’t have any insurance, and they were painful, so I just kept putting it off.”

When it was time for Cynthia to have her annual mammogram at the Health System’s Breast Care Center, she suggested they make their appointments at the same time. “I thought that might encourage her. It’s like exercising. It’s easier if you find someone to do it with,” she said.

So they did, and Cindy found the experience to be much better than she imagined. “It was a great experience, and having it with my mom made it even more special. The health system has all this modern equipment. It wasn’t painful like before, and the technologist who did it was just awesome. She really put me at ease.”

After their mammograms, Cindy was inspired to share their experience with her friends on Facebook. “I explained how my mom and I had our mammograms done together, and how I hadn’t had one in 10 years, but it was a piece of cake. I recommended that everyone do it, and make it fun by having it with your mom or a friend.” In response to Cindy’s posting, several friends commented that they too had put off their mammograms, but her story encouraged them to make their appointments.

“My mom would not leave me alone about this, but now that I’ve had my mammogram done, I realize there is nothing to it, and I will do it every year from now on,” Cindy says.