Sisters join ‘Underwires’ challenge to build awareness statue

Published 12:01 am Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kandise Finley and Charity Fountain lost their mother in March to breast cancer.

Now, the two have taken up a Dothan radio station’s challenge in an effort to protect others from the same fate.

It’s called WKMX’s “Underwires for the Wiregrass,” and plans are to construct a peanut shaped monument from thousands of bras to serve as a reminder to all women how vital a yearly mammogram is. On Fri., Oct. 1, morning show personalities “Julie” and “Billy” will broadcast from the Dothan Women’s Medical Center for the construction.

Finley, a registered nurse at Andalusia Regional Hospital, said when she heard about the initiative on the radio, she was “in.”

“This is something I felt drawn to do,” Finley said. “My mother, Patricia Joyner, was originally diagnosed in 1998. She was 38. Then, she was cancer free for 10 years. In March 2008, she was re-diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She died at the age of 50.

“So, we know first-hand about breast cancer; what it is to watch someone suffer. When I heard about what KMX was doing, I was in.”

And just like she was during their mother’s fight with the deadly disease, Fountain is right beside her sister – this time, with a different quest.

“When you hear (the monument is) being made out of bras, you think, ‘That’s kind of odd,’ but if we can make one person think about cancer and get checked and find it early enough to get treatment, all the effort is totally worth it,” Fountain said.

The donated bras can be used or new – whatever one’s preference, the two said.

While there are various drop off points in the Dothan-area, the sisters said they have established two drop-off points in the county – one at Madi’s Place on Hillcrest Drive in Andalusia, and another at Samantha’s Styles on Fifth Avenue in Florala, across from the Florala Memorial Hospital.

“Who doesn’t have a bra laying around that they need to get rid of?” Finley said. “Come by and throw it in our box and it will go for a good cause.”

The two said this was exactly the type of project their mother would have supported.

“She was a vibrant person,” Finley said. “She had such a glow about her. When things were so bad, the doctor told us what to expect. She didn’t want to know. She said she didn’t have an expiration date stamped on the bottom of her foot saying when she was going to expire; that she was going to live every day to the fullest.

The two will be featured at 7 a.m. Wednesday on WKMX’s morning show to tell the South Alabama community why they feel this project is so important.

Local donations will be accepted through Sept. 30.

Kandise Finley and Charity Fountain, along with Fountain’s daughter Mallory, pose in front of the Madi’s Place “Underwires for the Wiregrass” drop off point. | Stephanie Nelson/Star-News