DeJoria is bringing breast cancer awareness to drag racing fans with mobile mammogram screenings
Female racing fans are in luck this month—you don't have to choose between your favorite sport and your health. Professional drag racer Alexis DeJoria and her crew are rolling into two major races in "mammovans," mobile mammogram vehicles designed to provide any woman at the race with a free breast cancer screening on the spot.
"For years, we've been doing pink-themed cars and shirts and stuff, but I wanted to do more to promote women's health," DeJoria says. She came up with the genius idea to provide free mammograms in conjunction with Baylor Health Care Systems and Nevada Health Centers at a few of her National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) races. "We just park the vans right there, at the end of our pit!"
And it's not just about raising awareness; she's bringing the life-saving tests to those who need them the most. "For uninsured women, it costs about $300 for a mammogram—but it's only $50 or less for an NHRA ticket," she says. This has actually lead to a huge number of women, buying a race ticket simply to get the mammogram, some even traveling hundreds of miles.
Not only has DeJoria had her own screening—a process she admitted was "a little freaky"—but she also takes time between heats to go and hold hands and give hugs and encouragement to women getting their boobs squished. "It's great to donate money, but it feels so good to personally help women conquer this disease, especially after losing some amazing women in our racing community to breast cancer," she explains.
As for critics who think that the racetrack may not be the most appropriate place to conduct a mammogram, she couldn't disagree more. "This is so important, because breast cancer affects all of us in one way or another. If it isn't you then it's your mom or sister or friend and that means we should all take it seriously—especially at the racetrack."
You can see her race (and stop by for a free mammo!) October 15-18 in Dallas or at the NHRA Nationals race October 29-November 1 in Las Vegas. She'll be the one in the blindingly pink car—because, hey, even if you have a mammovan, you only get to drive a pink race car once a year!