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Many women have used Women's Way to get tested for cervical and breast cancer. Read how each woman's story is unique.

Mother's Diagnosis Was a Wake-Up Call

Judy Ringler

Judy Ringler

Judy Ringler, was surprised at her mother’s cervical cancer stage-four diagnosis. Although Judy knew her mother had never had cervical cancer screenings, her mother didn’t seem to be ill. For Judy, the diagnosis was a wake-up call, yet she didn’t schedule her regular Pap test because she couldn’t afford it. “It had been 15 years – easy – since I had had a Pap test. Even with mom having cervical cancer, it was kind of like, what I didn’t know wouldn’t hurt me and then to top it off, I just couldn’t afford it,” Judy said.

In 2000, Judy learned about Women's Way, North Dakota’s breast and cervical cancer early detection program. She picked up a Women's Way brochure, read through it, and set it aside. She thought it would be too much of a hassle to enroll. When signs of menopause began, Judy finally made the call. “I was surprised at how easy it was to enroll, and the gals at Women's Way were just so concerned that I hadn’t had a Pap test in so long. When I did enroll in Women's Way and I did get my Pap test, I felt really good about myself. It showed that I cared about myself,” Judy said.

Judy’s test results came back negative for cervical cancer, which left Judy elated. “I saw what cervical cancer does. It is devastating. I don’t want to die from cervical cancer and now, with Women's Way, I can get my regular Pap tests and have that peace of mind,” Judy said. She now encourages women to use Women's Way services through her job at a local church. She says all women should get checked as a boost to self-esteem.

Today, Judy enjoys reading and looks forward to growing old with her “main squeeze.” She is thankful to be cancer-free and proud that she makes time to get regular Pap tests. “Having cervical cancer screenings and a mammogram … having made the decision to do that on a routine basis makes me feel really good about myself,” Judy said.