CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Doctors stress the importance of mammograms in women over 40 to check for breast cancer.
But, not every woman can afford them. So, a group of high school girls wanted to help and decided to dive right in.
"It was really successful," said Cape Central Senior Chleo LeGrand.
These girls are used to success in the swimming pool, but now they're celebrating their success in selling T-shirts.
"We sold T-shirts to help women in Cape who can't afford mammograms on their own," said Cape Central Junior Maddie Siefert.
Five high school girls swim teams from the area sold the shirts, totaling $1,489.50. Teams from Cape Central, Poplar Bluff, Jackson, Saxony Lutheran and St. Vincent in Perryville sold the "Splash Out Cancer" shirts.
"It made me feel like I was helping and making a difference with people," said Cape Central Freshman Josey Powell.
"It was really fun, I really enjoyed telling everyone what it was for because then they all they got it and it all makes sense we aren't just selling a T-shirt, it's for a cause," said Siefert.
The girls raised the money for the Saint Francis Medical Center "Dig for Life" program. The money goes to women who can't afford a mammogram.
"Early prevention in cancer is really important and some people just don't have the resources to do it themselves, so if we can help out even a little bit then it goes a long way," said LeGrand.
"Everyone deserves the opportunity to get to have one if they can't afford it, I think the fact that there's so many people around here that can't afford it, it just really hit home," said Cape Central Sophomore Sarah Elfrink.
"We'll have to deal with it someday, it's important for us to do our part now so that maybe it pays, it comes back for us in the next couple years or several decades," said Cape Central Sophomore Maddie Moore.
The teammates said selling the shirts was a lesson outside of the classroom, and win outside of the pool.
"I didn't really know that people didn't get checked for this, so it really made me aware," said Powell.
"You become very aware of how things are outside of your little bubble of a high school," said Moore.
The Cape Central swimmers said other teams in their school already help the cause in a similar way and they wanted to join in.
"All the other teams at our school actually have a pink out thing and we were like well why doesn't swimming have that?" said Siefert.
After this experience, the girls want women to know they're not alone. A team of supporters are behind them ready to dive in and help.
"Even if you think you can't afford it, there's someone out there that's willing to help and everyone can help," said Elfrink.
"A lot of people asked me what we were doing and as I explained that half the money of the T-shirts went to pay for mammograms more and more people were signing up to do it and more and more people we wanting to help," said Moore.
Employees from Chateau Girardeau also recently donated to the Dig for Life program.
You can find more information on the Dig for Life program here.