From The Delta Business Journal
RULEVILLE – A cancer center named for noted civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, has secured a site for its new headquarters and they have launched a campaign to raise the $5.5 million needed for the new state-of-the-art facility.
“We’re looking at about $3.5 million to actually build the building, and the other money would be used to equip and furnish the building,” said Freddie White-Johnson, founder and president of the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation.
She hopes to raise quite a bit of money in 2013.
“It’s a national fundraising campaign,” said White-Johnson. “We’re trying to reach out to anybody and everybody across the country and outside the country for support.”
The foundation has already received international help, including donations from Japan and Germany.
The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation will move to Miss. Highway 8 and Floyce Street in Ruleville.
Renderings for the center have been created by architect Thomas Stewart of Architectonics in Starkville.
“One thing we definitely want inside the center is a cancer resource center, a computer center where people can go in and look at types of cancer,” said White-Johnson. “The center would be linked to oncologists throughout the country who could help provide some type of service to that individual at no cost.”
The building will also house a museum in honor of Hamer. The civil rights activist hailed from Ruleville and was internationally known as an organizer for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
She died from stage four, untreated breast cancer on March 14, 1977.
The foundation in her honor was established in 2005 and is already a benefit to the Delta.
“One thing I do see that the cancer center is already doing with the people who already work with the cancer foundation is identifying women who have not had breast screenings,” said White-Johnson.
In 2012, the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation identified more than 450 women who hadn’t had a mammogram in more than two years or had never had one.
Among other things, the foundation helps with money for transportation and medical expenses, and its reach extends far.
“Even though the cancer center sits in Ruleville, the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation services the entire state of Mississippi,” said White-Johnson. “We have also done contributions outside of Mississippi in Tennessee and Alabama.”