I can’t believe that Tuesday’s Women’s Cancer Awareness Event hosted by Emanuel Cancer Center has been held for 14 years and this is the first year I have ever been. My maternal grandmother was a Colon Cancer survivor and I lost my paternal grandmother to Esophageal Cancer, but it wasn’t until I lost one of my best friends since high school this last year to Breast Cancer that I started to realize I needed to be more aware.
The event is built around getting the message out to women in our community about how to take care of our health, reduce our cancer risk, and getting regular check-ups for early detection.
Over 860 people attended the annual free event at Monte Vista Chapel and each attendee received a "Little Pink Book" with helpful hints, symptoms to watch for, and facts about the most common cancers that affect women.
This year’s theme was “Kiss Off Cancer” with the keynote speaker, Geralyn Lucas, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 27.
Lucas wrote "Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy," a humorous – and poignant – memoir of her journey through breast cancer that was later turned into a television movie. She recently created a YouTube video called OUCH to help point out that a mammogram is less painful than many of the beauty treatments that women typically endure.
The message was well received by the audience as Lucas was able to deliver the inspirational message with humor and honesty.
"I have attended many of these events throughout the county but this was one of the best programs I have ever been to," said Shiela Doberenz, who works for the American Cancer Society as a Senior Manager for Relay for Life.
Below are the links to the Emanuel Cancer Center’s website and the YouTube video from the presentation: