Nonprofit Charity Spotlight: The Ellen Shaw de Paredes Breast Cancer Foundation

By Lisa Schaffner | August 21st, 2014

Norah Lind thinks about her mother often. She lost the Northern Virginia woman to cancer at age 76.

“She should be alive,” Lind says. “Her breast cancer was not detected on a mammogram, although I did learn later that it was easy to see. My mother took very good care of herself. Her mammogram simply was not read accurately.”

Lind is the first executive director of nonprofit Ellen Shaw de Paredes Breast Cancer Foundation since its founder. (Ellen Shaw de Paredes, a radiologist, started the foundation in 2005, alongside the for-profit Ellen Shaw de Paredes Institute for Women’s Imaging.) The fast-paced Lind works daily to ensure every Richmonder who needs a mammogram gets one and that the breast images are properly read.

Early detection of breast cancer is the mission of the foundation. It’s accomplished through several programs, including the Free Mammography Outreach Program and the Fellows Program, which trains radiologists in the subspecialty field of breast imaging. Lind – who speaks with rapid-fire details – says the foundation has trained nearly 40 fellows who come from all over the world, including Burma and Colombia.

“Each fellow the foundation trains touches up to 25,000 patients a year,” Lind says, speaking of those in centers doing only breast imaginings. “This is the real difference being made in early breast-cancer detection.”

The foundation’s Mammography Outreach Program serves 400 women a year through 13 clinics the Foundation partners with across Central Virginia. Lind hopes to soon serve 600. “These are women, for whatever reason, who fall in the poverty range. We provide them with vouchers to get the imaging,” she explains. “What makes our program different is that we hold their hand and take them through all the steps and make sure they get the needed biopsies or follow-up.”

Richmond, Lind says, is a very poorly served area for mammography.

“We do not have great early detection figures. We are a weak part of the state. … Early detection is finding cancer before you can feel it.”

To change that, The Ellen Shaw de Paredes Foundation also funds continuing medical education seminars for doctors to learn the latest technology and techniques such as tomosynthesis. It’s a mammography breakthrough that allows radiologists to see in 3-D imaging.

“The first tomosynthesis training session and medical seminar was held in January with doctors from all over the country coming to receive foundation training,” says Lind.

The foundation’s educational seminar was standing-room-only, which shows the need.

Lind has headed up the foundation for the past year and is driving more community outreach such as the recent Lakeside butterfly release in May to raise awareness and funds for the foundation.

“My real goal is to be more of a force in the community,” she says. “We want women to know they need a [mammogram, so] they can go and spread the awareness. We’re making breast cancer education and detection available to everyone.”

Lind’s mother would be proud.


+ TO PUBLICIZE YOUR NONPROFIT: Email your nonprofit’s upcoming event dates four months in advance for possible publication. Also email us pictures taken while Giving Back for possible posting on Submissions should be sent to

June 1: Broad Appétit presented by the Downtown Neighborhood Association to promote the amazing food, art and music that make Richmond a great place to live and visit. Benefits FeedMore, Central Virginia’s core hunger-relief organization. June 1, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., West Broad Street between Henry and Adams streets. For more:

June 28: 4th Annual Arts & Culture Xpo presented by CultureWorks, to bring awareness to Richmond-area arts and culture organizations. June 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Richmond Convention Center. Free and open to the public. For more:

July 26: Richmond Splash and Dash to benefit the James River Association. 5k trail run and James River tube ride. Saturday, July 26, at Richmond’s Belle Isle beginning at 2:30 p.m. Registration fee $40. Must pre-register at


13th Annual Easter Seals UCP EggStravaganza, March 29 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

2014 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards, April 10 at the Virginia Executive Mansion.

Virginia Union University 2nd Annual Scholarship & Masquerade Ball, April 11 at the Richmond Marriott.

Virginia High School League 150th Anniversary Celebration, April 30 in Charlottesville.

More from Boomer