In 2013, Becky Baker was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. She was given three months to live at the time. She died in 2017. After Becky’s death her husband, Rick, started the Becky Baker Foundation with the $1 million life insurance check that he was given after his wife’s passing.
Rick didn’t want anyone else to die from breast cancer if it could be prevented, like he felt Becky’s death could have been prevented. He used the money to buy around 5,000 free mammograms for women who were unable to afford one. Today the Becky Baker Foundation is building gardens, like the one they built in front of Wooglins Deli, to help promote the awareness and prevention of breast cancer.
The garden is located on the corner by Wooglins Deli, which is only a block away from Doherty High School. This garden was planted with one goal in mind: to prevent breast cancer. To quote Rick, “The best way to beat breast cancer is to prevent it.” This shows perfectly the mission of the Becky Baker Foundation, which in the words of Dr. Barb Hughson is, “to help prevent breast cancer.”
One of the main reasons that the foundation was started was because around two weeks before Becky died, she said to her husband Rick, “I’m just sad no one will remember my name.” To which Rick responded, “I promise no one will ever forget your name.”
It was upon this that the idea for the Becky Baker Foundation was formed, because Becky had never gotten a mammogram before she was diagnosed, something that could have drastically changed the situation that she found herself in at the time of her original diagnosis.
The foundation started off small, but this year they enter a new chapter as a 501c3 non-profit charity, which means that they are able to receive a small portion of taxes that will allow them to buy more mammograms and thermograms.
One of the main goals of the foundation is to give away free mammograms and thermograms to women who might not otherwise be able to afford them. These women are chosen after they go through an online course that is on the Becky Baker Foundation website.
Once the foundation has chosen someone to receive a mammogram or thermogram, the foundation basically, to paraphrase Rick, writes a check for the mammogram/thermogram and then steps away.
The foundation decided to plant a garden because Becky loved the outdoors, and they wanted to beautify the neighborhood. The land for the garden was cleared and prepared on Saturday, September 5, and new plants were put in on Saturday, September 12. A local troop of girls in Scouts BSA completed most of the work. Troop 1268, based out of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, heard about the Becky Baker Foundation and instantly wanted to get involved.
As young women, the troop understands the importance of the foundation and felt personally connected to it. To quote one of the troops members, Isabella Olivarez, “I think it’s cool that not only are they making gardens and beautifying the environment, but they’re also potentially saving lives.” The foundation plans on planting more gardens in the future, something that should help bring more awareness to the foundation itself and to its mission.