Belmont Chick-Fil-A offers free mammograms to honor long-time employee who beat breast cancer

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BELMONT, N.C. — It seems like when you thought Chick-Fil-A was the best, something else happens to make it even better.   

At the Belmont restaurant, the community has come together behind one special Chick-Fil-A worker.

“I’ve been humbled by all of it and God has been so good,” Patricia Russell said. 

It was just last summer that 65-year-old Patricia Russell was told she had breast cancer.

“Three large masses in my left breast and it was very very scary to learn that,” Russell said. 

Russell’s co-workers wanted to let her know that they were there for her during this difficult time. 

“It really shook us up and we decided to do something to help people,” said Tony Gilbert, the executive director at the Belmont Chick-Fil-A.

Prior to her diagnosis, Russell had never had the money to afford a mammogram.

“And we said hey that’s not anything we want anyone else to deal with and we decided to try to raise money and help people who can’t afford their own mammograms,” Gilbert said. 

‘Miss Trish’, as she’s known by many, had surgery, chemo, and radiation, but now, she’s back at the Belmont Chick-Fil-A doing well and her workplace is getting results.

“They showed me loved and prayed for me so good things can come from bad things,” Russell said.

For the second time, Chick-Fil-A played host to Caromont’s Mobile Mammogram Unit, allowing women to be checked for free while also raising money and awareness for breast cancer.

“It would be powerful if because we do this it saved a life. That’s something we can’t put words to it would be amazing,”   

The Belmont Chick-Fil-A says they’re committed to holding this event every year. There’s also a fundraiser with ten percent of sales going to the Caromont Foundation to directly impact ladies who can’t afford services.

“There’s that picture of me in the middle and it says ‘Our Reason,’ and it gives me goosebumps to know they wanted to help me in my honor, that’s very touching,” Russell said.

But what’s even more touching is how far her story spread and how many people she touched.

“Don’t give up. Keep smiling through it all and ask for God’s help to get you through it and you’ll get through it,” Russell said. 

She thanks her co-workers and the wider community for their prayers and love in her time of need. 

“My co-workers prayed for me last year when I was going into the operating room and it went all over the world. I got cards, gifts from people as far as Minnesota.” 

A special woman who will never let cancer keep her down.

“I felt those prayers and I told everybody cancer invaded my body but not my soul,” Russel said. “Cancer has left scars on my chest but none on my heart.” 

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