CONWAY, S.C. – Six women who have a friendship spanning nearly three decades have a unique tradition — getting mammograms together each year.

Mary Clark, Cindy Tibedeau, Sabra Bell, Glenna Bailey, Kelly Moran and Siena Alford are best friends. They said going to Conway Medical Center’s Imaging Center together takes the edge off an activity that no one looks forward to.

Of the six, five work in education. The sixth, Alford, is a doctor who treats the other five.

The women describe their friendship as one they can always count on, one that makes them laugh and a group of people who see each other through the good or bad times.

“I think we all look out for each other,” Alford said.

Not only does going together help ease the discomfort of the mammogram, it also holds each of them accountable to make sure they get their screening.

During the pandemic, the number of women keeping up with mammograms and other annual preventative screenings plummeted.

Women over 40, or younger women with a family history of breast health issues are generally supposed to get a yearly mammogram.