Jolene Schriedel was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer last year when she was 41 years old. Schriedel shares her touching story:

When I was at the imaging center, I told the technician that if this turned out to be cancer I didn t know what I would do.

I did not have insurance but then I learned about WINGS, which offers financial support to women who were diagnosed with breast cancer and hand no insurance and could not afford treatment.
WINGS is much more than financial support. This organization reaches out and embraces and supports the women and their families because breast cancer doesn t just stop with the patient; families are affected, too.

Having WINGS meant less stress for the whole family knowing that I could concentrate on getting through my treatments and reassuring my kids that it was going to be okay.

Wings means I have a second chance at life and to make this chance mean something...something more...something bigger than me, that I may give back. I would have been financially devastated had it not been for WINGS.

How has WINGS saved lives?

Breast cancer is not a death sentence. But untreated breast is always fatal. WINGS enrolls patients in a no-cost program which takes care of 100% of their treatment needs and provides lifetime follow-up care. WINGS pays for surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, all hospital/lab/pathology/radiology charges, reconstruction, outpatient medications, wigs, home health care and, when needed, specialty consults and treatment.

What is WINGS and how did the organization get started?

WINGS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity created to bridge the healthcare gap between detection and life for uninsured women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, I was told that my best chance for long-term survival was a bone marrow transplant. Initially the insured company denied the claim for this treatment. While my case was on appeal, I began to ask questions of my doctors. What happens to women who have no health insurance at all?

How do they get treatment?

The answer was they don't. they die. That was not acceptable. My breast surgeon and I started wings in October 1999 to make sure that no women losing her battle with cancer just because she can't afford care.

What s the mission of WINGS?

WINGS provides comprehensive breast cancer treatment and lifetime follow-up care to low-income, uninsured women in central and south texas at no cost to the patient.

Who can get help?

Any low-income, uninsured woman with a positive diagnosis of breast cancer. We have a provider network that encompasses physicians and healthcare facilities in 46 Texas counties.

Do you have volunteers?

We average between 100 and 150 volunteers throughout the year. Our biggest volunteer effort is our anniversary celebration every September.

For more information visit:

Visit our website at

Read or Share this story: