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April 24th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

Army of volunteers saves lives with clipboards, high spirits

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/24/art_andrea_ivory.jpg caption="Breast cancer survivor Andrea Ivory is on a mission to educate Florida communities about the disease, one door at a time."]

WEST PARK, Florida (CNN) - "We are an army," says Andrea Ivory of the group gathered with her early on a Saturday morning.

Armed with clipboards, leaflets and high spirits, the energetic Ivory leads them into the neighborhood, where they start knocking on doors. The mood is lighthearted, but their mission is serious: to save lives, one house at a time.

They're volunteers from the Florida Breast Health Initiative, or FBHI, and they are waging war against breast cancer. It's an effort started by Ivory, 50, herself a survivor of the disease.

Every weekend in the spring and fall, she and her volunteers - who include college students, senior citizens and suburban moms, all wearing matching T-shirts - fan out across low-income communities in southern Florida, educating women about breast health.

They especially seek out uninsured women age 35 and older, who statistics show are twice as likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer, and thus more likely to die from the disease.

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Filed under: CNN Heroes
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