Today we’d like to introduce you to Rick Baker.
Rick, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I launched The Becky Baker Foundation in May of 2017 after my wife passed away from Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. One of the last things Becky said to me was, “I’m just sorry that no one will ever remember my name.” I immediately promised her that ‘no one would ever forget’ her name.
I then deposited the $1 million dollar life insurance check I received into an account to pay for 5,000 free mammograms (or thermograms) to be gifted to the uninsured and underinsured. (Becky never had a screening.)
Since that time, the BBF has given away over 2,100 mammograms and thermograms.
In 2020, the FDN begins a new chapter as a 501(C)(3) public charity (EIN number 84-2047492) with the goal of providing 5,000 screenings in 2020 and doubling that number every year until we reach one million per year in 2027.
This will effectively change the national breast cancer conversation from “Awareness” to “Prevention,” which is my ultimate goal. Only “prevention” saves lives.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has been mostly, but there have been challenges. I mean, I am giving away free mammograms and thermograms to anyone who cannot afford the screening. I had no idea that so many women have never had a screening, nor did I think any woman would refuse a free mammogram. According to one statistic, close to sixty-percent of women in our country have never had a mammogram. I think it’s a little over sixty-percent in SoCal.
Another challenge has been the pushback from other organizations who are not committed to “Prevention,” but are mainly interested in “Awareness.” I believe that everyone is already aware, so let’s just commit to preventing this evil disease. But, there isn’t much money in prevention. I once had the CEO of a large Hospice tell me that she could not support me because I was “trying to prevent breast cancer.” I asked her why this was and she said that if I was actually able prevent breast cancer, the “beds in her Hospice would go empty, and she was paid to fill beds.” I know, hard to believe, but money is oftentimes more important to some in this industry than is life. Is very sad really.
Please tell us about Becky Baker Foundation.
After Becky passed away, I bought a Nissan GTR (picture attached) had NASCAR help in wrapping and boosting the car and then started driving the country passing out free pens, shirts, and hats that all publicized “Free Mammograms.” I drove the car through 37 states and 40,000 miles in a year-and-a-half. The car turns heads and it worked! I have given away over 2,000 free mammograms and thermograms since I started in May of 2017. I have also distributed over 80,000 pens! I believe that the best way to beat breast cancer is to prevent breast cancer, and the most effective means to this end is with annual thermograms or mammograms. So the Foundation offers these services free of charge to those who cannot afford them. Our goal in 2020 is to provide at least 5,000 free screenings! What we do is simple, money in, mammograms and thermograms out. All donations truly can help save lives and in order to provide these screenings, we need funds. Almost everyone has a breast cancer story or connection – their own story, a mother, a sister, a best friend, the stories go on and on. Our hope is to continue to increase the volume of screenings yearly so more lives may be impacted.
But, just providing a free mammogram is the first part of what we do. If a woman gets free screening from us, we want a commitment from her that she will live going forward to prevent breast cancer in her body. Our foot-in-the-door here is of course, the free screening. This is the first step for many women, and once they actually move forward with their checkup, we offer them the continuing education showing the need to take care of their body and most likely avoid breast cancer in the future. The BBF also offers continuing education for the male loved-ones of all women. I have learned that most men do not have a working understanding of breast cancer and how this evil disease infects so many women.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I lived in SoCal for many years. Born in Northridge (house destroyed in 1994 earthquake) lived in Burbank, then headed to Fallbrook and the land of the Avos. The diversity that is Los Angeles is so unique. The people are exceptional and there is always the food, the water, the weather and the exotic cars used as daily drivers! Nowhere else on earth like LA! That said, 1-in-7 women in LA will get breast cancer in their lifetimes. So much pain can be avoided by getting a checkup every year!
What do I like least? Haha. The traffic, of course, especially while driving one of those exotic cars!
- All Mammograms are FREE
- All Thermograms are FREE
- Website: www.beckybakerfoundation.org
- Phone: Ofc: 719-822-2328
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beckybakerfdn/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beckybakerfoundation/
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rickgbaker/