Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer raises $275,000 for St. Mary’s Breast Health Services

March 8, 2024

Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer (BBBC), their benefactors, and their partners at St. Mary’s Health Care System came together in celebration recently at St. Mary’s Breast Health Center, located in Resource Medical Park at 1500 Oglethorpe Ave., Athens.

They celebrated two big milestones: the unveiling of the center’s newly named waiting area in honor of BBBC and BBBC’s largest gift to date: a check in the amount of $275,000 to St. Mary’s breast health services. Afterwards, the guests were invited to a “sneak peek” tour of the beautifully remodeled facility. A public ribbon-cutting will be held March 22 to kick-off the entire host of services available to women in our community and surrounding counties, including a new mammography suite.

“We continue to receive deep blessings and transformational support from Jay and Teresa Abbott and their incredibly generous team at Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer,” said Aaron James, St. Mary’s Foundation director. “This donation brings their cumulative giving to St. Mary’s Breast Health Services Fund to $1,534,000. The honor and trust BBBC has bestowed upon St. Mary’s inspires us to think big and boldly about how we can continue to spread our work to those throughout the community who are afflicted with this devastating disease.”

“This kind of community support is a tremendous asset to our center and the patients we serve,” said Dr. Kathleen Jeffery, medical director of St. Mary’s Breast Health Center and the region’s first female surgeon dedicated exclusively to breast health. “We are passionate about this cause, and together, we are saving and improving lives throughout our entire region.”

“Teresa and I are humbled by and grateful for the outpouring of love we continue to receive,” said Jay Abbott. “We send our deepest thanks to all those who lift us up in prayer and who support Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer in so many ways, especially our good friends Dwight and Leslie. We can’t tell you how much it means to us that you care. Let’s get out there and beat cancer for good.”

BBBC began in October 2003 when Teresa Abbott was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of Stage 3 breast cancer. Over the next 18 months, Teresa endured surgeries and countless numbers of chemotherapy and radiation sessions. It was grueling, but at the end of her treatment journey, Teresa was pronounced cancer-free.

Inspired and grateful, the Abbott family chose to share Teresa’s story and thank all their friends and family who supported them during those long months. They wanted to do something to help others battle the disease, especially those who had fewer resources. At the time, the Abbott’s youngest son, Chris, was playing football at the University of Georgia. With the help of then- head football coach Mark Richt and the UGA football team, the first annual Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer Charity Golf Tournament was organized, and BBBC was born.

In 2009, the Abbotts chose St. Mary’s Hospital and St. Mary’s Foundation as their partners and beneficiaries in the fight against breast cancer. Over the years, with BBBC’s financial support, St. Mary’s has provided hundreds of no-cost mammograms to uninsured women. In addition, BBBC’s support has helped St. Mary’s acquire state-of-the-art imaging equipment – including 3-D mammography systems – at the main hospital in Athens, its rural hospital in Lavonia, and its outpatient imaging center in Oconee County.

To learn more about BBBC, visit Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer. To learn more about St. Mary’s breast health services, visit St. Mary’s Breast Health Center – Dr. Kathleen Jeffery – Athens, GA (