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The Arlington Free Clinic (AFC) on July 7 held a plaque unveiling to celebrate the life of Sharon McGowan, an Arlington mother of seven who died at age 45 after battling breast cancer, and to mark the transfer of a fund in her name supporting breast health.

The Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund was established in 1997 by the Arlington County Medical Society Foundation and the McGowan family. The fund supports mammograms and biopsies for uninsured patients (including those AFC serves) fighting breast cancer in Northern Virginia.

For 20 years, the fund has been sustained by the community through annual events, private donations and support from the Arlington County Medical Society. Committee volunteers; the McGowan, Shapiro, Gropper and Koch families; and the Yorktown High School Softball Boosters have come together over two decades to honor the memory of Sharon McGowan through support of the fund’s mission.

On July 7, the Arlington County Medical Society Foundation bestowed the fund to the Arlington Free Clinic, where it will continue to make a vital impact on breast health among the community’s under-served neighbors.

At a small ceremony – one that included members of the McGowan family, the Arlington County Medical Society board of directors and AFC staff, volunteers and board members – a plaque describing the history and impact of the fund was added to the wall of donors at the free clinic.