On Sunday, October 2, students from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) hosted the 2016 Sprint for Sparks 5K run/walk. Nearly 200 participants registered for the annual fundraising event, donning pink ribbon t-shirts in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to raise funds for breast cancer diagnostics and other medical services provided by the Sparks community health clinic.
As a result, the clinic raised approximately $3,000, every $600 of which will go toward a breast cancer biopsy, which is the first step after a mass is detected on a patient’s mammogram. While the clinic already has a grant to provide free mammograms, there is currently no funding source to cover the cost of biopsies. Sprint for Sparks and other fundraising events help to fill this gap — providing critical medical services while bringing community attention to a region of the city that is vastly underserved.
In addition to women’s health screenings, the clinic also provides vaccines and an array of other health services. The clinic is open twice a month, and run entirely by students from TTUHSC El Paso’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine under the guidance of volunteer physicians — also from TTUHSC El Paso.
Photos by Raul de la Cruz, Office of Institutional Advancement.