Helping those in need

Mobile medical unit would assist pregnant women with decisions

Gateway Express Testing Executive Director Julia Seay and Marie Martin, an employee of Gateway medical director Mary Martin, stand by the examination table inside the mobile medical unit. (Photo by Tim Farley)

By Tim Farley, News Editor – Julia Seay saw firsthand the type of mobile pregnancy testing vehicle that Gateway Express Testing in Yukon will eventually use.

Mike and Penni Dziolek, volunteers for Save the Storks, drove a van intended for use in Arkansas to Yukon so Seay and her co-workers could visualize the vehicle that will be used for pregnancy testing, ultra sounds and STD testing.

The vehicle costs about $125,000 and Seay said she already has some potential donors who are interested in paying for it.

“We want to be able to go to schools and go with the sheriff when they have sex trafficking stings,” Seay said. “There’s any number of trafficking victims out there and this would allow us to do STD tests and treatment, pregnancy tests and love on them. We want to be like the loving arms of Jesus Christ for people who have been victims of the some of the worst kind of abuse.”

Seay also said Canadian County has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Oklahoma.

“It’s in the top 10,” she said.

The mobile pregnancy testing unit is a customized Mercedes Sprint vehicle that is manufactured by a company in the Midwest. Mike Dziolek said the company prefers to remain anonymous about its role to help women in deciding to keep their unborn children as opposed to abortion.

Seay emphasized that a medical professional will always be aboard the van when conducting the various tests.

“We will have a nurse on our staff, a counselor and one other person,” she said.

Local non-profits such as Gateway Express Testing work with the Colorado-based Save the Storks organization in obtaining one of the vehicles. The fundraising is conducted locally, but each mobile medical unit has the Save the Storks logo prominently displayed on the side.

Mike Dziolek said he and his wife have bee driving the van to various locations en route to Arkansas to raise awareness of the vehicles and the program to help pregnant women.
Seay believes the mobile medical unit would be used predominantly in Canadian County.

“Getting one of these used to be on our five-year plan, but now it’s on our one-year plan,” she said. “We want this area to have a mobile medical unit. The money is there.”

People who want to contribute to the purchase of the vehicle can donate to Save the Storks and designate their money to the Canadian County vehicle, Seay said.

Each unit has the name of a child printed on it. The unit driven to Yukon last week was named after an unborn child by the name of Alexandra. The child suffered anencephaly and was stillborn at 35 weeks.

“The mother decided to place her baby’s name on the van to help Save the Storks,” Seay said. “There are so many stories of children who have been saved and there are those like Alexandra who died. These stories show life is significant.”

Seay understands the plight many women go through. One of her babies died 29 years ago immediately after birth.

Seay is hopeful the ultrasound tests will encourage women to keep their babies instead of having an abortion. She said statistics show women decided to keep their children 80 percent of the time when viewing an ultrasound.

Gateway Express Testing is located at 2 South 6th Street. The office telephone number is 354-4283.