Raising funds for equipment with the Boob Tour

Boob Tour. Hearing the words probably makes you think, “Nothing but good can come from this.”

Boob Tour.

Hearing the words probably makes you think, “Nothing but good can come from this.” And you would be right.

The comedy tour is scheduled for a stop in Ponoka Oct. 20 at the Kinsmen Community Centre. Not only will attendees have three comedians give them a chance to relax and laugh but proceeds from the night are earmarked for an intraoperative breast ultrasound; a $35,000 machine planned for Red Deer that helps surgeons while performing breast surgery.

“My understanding is that it can avoid multiple surgeries for women,” explained organizer Sherry Gummow with Busted Ladies Lingerie. “It’s in the operating room with the surgeon.”

Gummow looks forward to the event as she has been able to garner support from local businesses and individuals.

The Boob Tour is the brainchild of comedian James Uloth who used to live near Drayton Valley and now lives in California.

“I lost my best friend’s mom to cancer when I was in high school and I always wanted to do something to help,” explained Uloth. “You turn what you do and what you know into the best tool and that’s kind of how it started.”

He used to sell patches and T-shirts at his shows to raise funds but realized he could produce a comedy show and raise more money. “We’re getting close to raising $400,000 in three years.”

His goal is for funds to go directly to a community’s needs rather than an agency, and have more of a direct impact.

“I call it frontline funding. They don’t have money for gas to get to the hospital or their local hospital doesn’t have the latest equipment so they gotta drive two hours to get that testing done,” he explained.

“That’s usually where you get the best response in the community.”

The intraoperative breast ultrasound can be found in Calgary and Edmonton, which means women in central Alberta have to travel further than they would like to take advantage of the machine, explained Ashlee Hamblin, development officer for David Thompson Health Trust (DTHT).

“It will definitely be nice to have one close to home,” Hamblin stated.

Some women have the option of breast conserving surgery, where a surgeon removes only a portion of the breast however parts with cancer can be missed. The machine allows surgeons to remove the correct amount of affected breast, rather than too much or too little.

The benefits of a machine such as this will not only enhance the patient experience but could also reduce wait times, as women might not have to return for another surgery.

Fundraising for the ultrasound has just begun and the Boob Tour in Ponoka is the first of two planned so far; the second is planned for Oct. 28 in Springbrook for a walk/run called Breast of Intentions. Hamblin hopes enough funds between the two fundraisers will be enough.

A margarita bar will be part of the festivities that night and doors open at 6 p.m. with entertainment starting at 7 p.m. A ticket costs $25 and a table of eight costs $175.

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