First Lady Kristin Cooper Urges Women to be Proactive About Self-Care During Breast Cancer Awareness Month


First Lady Kristin Cooper today visited the REX Mobile Mammography Unit (MMU), which is parked downtown in a state government lot to provide 3D screenings to state employees and other women as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Early detection is vital to effective treatment, and routine mammography is one of the best ways for women to be screened for breast cancer,” Mrs. Cooper said. “The REX Mobile Mammography Unit helps women be proactive about self-care without losing a lot of time from work, as well as provide screenings to women in areas where it is sometimes difficult to access healthcare.”

Charlene Derrington, an employee of the Department of Administration, was the first person scheduled for a screening today. “This was a seven-minute walk from my desk,” said Derrington, who gets a mammogram every year. “It’s very important, and it doesn’t get any more convenient than this. It was a good experience and I would encourage all of my co-workers to 'just do it!'” 

Additionally, Mrs. Cooper announced that the Executive Mansion will be illuminated with pink lights this week in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink lights will become visible around dusk, approximately 6:30-6:50 p.m., and will continue through Sunday.

Mrs. Cooper visited the bus with State Human Resources Director Barbara Gibson and Joanne Sullivan, an Office of State Human Resources employee committed to early screening due to a family history of breast cancer.  She requested the REX MMU visit as a way to “give back and pay forward” her appreciation for exceptional care in her own screening history.

Following her mother’s cancer diagnosis in 2018, the then 37-year-old Sullivan was advised to get a 3D mammography screening, which is more effective in detecting smaller abnormalities. The test identified a tiny non-cancerous growth, which was later surgically removed.

“My doctor said it would not have gotten caught under 2D imagery,” Sullivan said. “He also mentioned it could have been worse off if I waited until 40 years old” – the age at which screenings typically are first recommended.

REX Mobile Mammography Services have been on the road serving more than 66,000 patients since 2001. Two buses were updated with 3D technology this year.

“Studies show 3D mammography can reduce the need for patient callbacks for additional views by as much as 30% and an increase in overall breast cancer detection over traditional 2D imaging,” said Wendy Avery, REX Mobile Mammography Coordinator.

For more information about REX Mobile Mammography Services, visit


# # #

This press release is related to: