Women battling breast cancer benefit from Swig campaignDec 30, 2020 01:22PM ● By Becky Ginos
Bountiful—When Tina Anderson was diagnosed with breast cancer, she wasn’t sure how she would pay the mounting bills. Then she got a call from Swig’s owner, Nicole Tanner who told her she wanted to pay her bills.
“I’m a physical therapist assistant and I have insurance but a high deductible,” said Anderson. “I’d paid several thousands, but still had about $8,000. When I got the call I said, ‘I’ve got insurance, you should help someone else.’ They said, ‘we want to pay your outstanding bills.’ It was a tremendous blessing.”
Tanner is a breast cancer survivor herself. After a generous donor helped her with her medical bills, she decided to return the favor by helping other women. During the month of October, Tanner started the “Save the Cups” campaign at the popular soda shop to raise funds to cover expenses for several women. Her goal of $50,000 was quickly surpassed to more than $161,000.
Anderson’s journey with breast cancer started in 2018. “I had a mammogram and that led to an ultrasound,” she said. “They found something on my right side, but they said they’d just watch it, that it wasn’t too concerning. A year later I got another one. I’d barely paid off the other one, so I didn’t really want to do it because it’s really expensive. But I’m really glad I did it. The biopsy showed cancer.”
She was scheduled for surgery in December 2019. “I got derailed a bit trying an alternative method but that ended up not working,” said Anderson. “In February 2020 I was scheduled for surgery. Then just before I had it the doctor suggested we do an MRI to check both breasts. The mammogram and ultrasound had shown the lump was on the right breast, but the MRI showed one on the left.”
It was the night before surgery, she said. “I was so grateful that we caught it so I only had to have surgery once. They didn’t discover it because it was so deep into the chest wall. It was a positive outcome with what could have been a negative outcome.”
Anderson finished radiation treatment in May and is doing well. “It was just in February, but it feels like five years ago,” she said. “COVID was just starting at that time. It would have been hard to do radiation treatment without support, they wouldn’t have been allowed. It’s been a crazy year.”
When she got the call, Anderson had paid about $4,000 out of pocket this year. “The deductible doesn’t cover everything,” she said. “I figure I’ve paid about $12,000 out of pocket. People with the different bills have all been good to work with me to set up payments but I’d have at least another two years to have it all paid off on the schedule I was doing.”
Anderson said now she’s looking forward to a bright future. “It’s such a blessing. I have tremendous gratitude to Nicole.”
Now she hopes to help other women. “Early intervention is key,” Anderson said. “There could have been another outcome if I hadn’t gone in. Women need to give themselves a birthday present and get a mammogram every year.”