KALISPELL — Three middle school students in Cut Bank raised $109.50 in the summer of 2019 during a bake sale for a new Kalispell Regional Healthcare Mammography vehicle.
Inspired by their efforts, donors from across the state raised $1,000,000 for the new vehicle which was unveiled in July.
Middle school students Jocelyn Taylor, Addy Evans, and Michaela Osborne have all had cancer impact their families in different ways and they wanted to help fellow Montanans in the fight against cancer anyway they could.
“We basically just thought, oh, well this would be nice, and since we couldn’t exactly help our own relatives at the time, maybe we could help other people that are struggling with it,” said Taylor.
The new vehicle replaces the Winkley Women’s Center vehicle that tallied 325,000 miles, 25,000 screenings with 160 early-stage breast cancers detected over 11 years.
Kalispell Regional Healthcare Foundation President Tagen Vine said the new vehicle features updated 3D equipment replacing outdated 2D technology.
He said the new vehicle will serve rural Montana communities from Fort Benton to Eureka and all the way down to Saint Ignatius.
“They may not have the volumes or the need for it every day, 24/7, but if it comes through once a week or once a month then we could help those little hospitals and those rural communities serve their patients by partnering with them,” said Vine.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new vehicle was held in Cut Bank in July so all three girls could attend.
They couldn’t believe the impact their bake-sale made, "it was just a little bit of money that we raised but it still helped a lot and it inspired a lot of people,” said Evans.
The largest donation made toward the new vehicle was $500,000.