A little rain couldn’t offset the mood as dozens of staff, administration, and breast cancer survivors gathered in the main lobby of Porter Regional Hospital on Wednesday to celebrate the raising of the flag for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The event, dubbed “Blow Away Breast Cancer,” celebrated those who have been diagnosed with, treated for, or affected by breast cancer. Each attendee was provided with a pink pinwheel to post in the ground outside the hospital as a means to remember those who have been lost, and to create a visual reminder of the fight against breast cancer.
“Today is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of the early detection of breast cancer, but also to celebrate those who have been diagnosed, those we have lost, and each other as health care workers,” said Stacey Kellogg, Regional Manager of Community Relations for Porter Regional Hospital.
There was no shortage of inspirational women in attendance, many of whom could attest to the importance of early detection. Nancy Babich, the Director of Imaging for Porter Regional Hospital was adamant about helping women and encouraging them to come in for screening.
“We have so many women in our community - and all over the world - who don’t realize how prevalent breast cancer is. Our job is not only to diagnose, but also get the message out there because early prevention is the best chance of survival,” Babich explained. “I see a lot of it, but I’m also a breast cancer survivor myself. Seven years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer and have gone through chemo, radiation, and two surgeries. Everyone talks about it, but when it hits home it’s devastating.”
As a survivor and someone who works in the imaging field, Babich has a unique perspective on the disease. As Babich and others explained at the event, raising awareness is an important facet in getting women in for their annual mammogram, thus increasing the chances for early detection and treatment.
“In the last year we’ve done an awful lot to raise awareness and that’s what today is about. But the fact of the matter is, thousands have been diagnosed, so we haven’t done enough,” said Steve Lunn, CEO of Porter Regional Hospital. “A lot more work is needed, people like us, like all of you, need to work harder at raising awareness. We need to work harder at offering support to others in their time of need. That’s what today is all about.”
Doing more is certainly in Porter Regional Hospital’s plans, as they continue to host events and support groups to raise awareness and support those who have been affected by breast cancer. To close out the event, the group of attendees took the time to read a proclamation dedicating themselves to the role of blowing away breast cancer and planted their pinwheels around the hospital flagpoles.
“We’re going to come together as a team and do everything we can to open access and make sure people have access to the screenings that they need,” said Kellogg. “All year long this topic is on our mind and we take the opportunity in October to bring it to light a little more with the Blow Away Program.”
For more information on Porter Regional Hospital, click here.