Pink Ribbon luncheon targets breast cancer

Monday, October 18, 2004

Every two and a half minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.

Every 14 minutes, a life is lost due to the disease.

The American Cancer Society's Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness luncheon brought to light these facts and other serious statistics for the women who gathered at the N'Orleans restaurant.

Cancer survivors like Jana Kassel brought friends and co-workers to the midday event that include a silent purse auction. Kassel is involved in several American Cancer Society programs including Reach to Recovery and Relay for Life.

Her friend and co-worker at Cape Electrical, Debbie Gilmore, came to the meal to support Kassel and the cancer society.

"It's nice to have an event like this during the day," she said. "So many of us have good intentions, but when you get home and get snuggled in you just don't want to go out again."

LaDonna Wills, nurse manager at Generations Southeast Missouri Hospital and also a breast cancer survivor, encouraged the more than 100 women in attendance to be informed about cancer.

"Know what your options are so you're prepared if you're faced with it," she said. "Above everything else, do your self exams, check ups and mammograms."

Other speakers included Trinka Hileman, manager of Womancare at Saint Francis Medical Center who spoke on digital mammography and its benefits in early detection, and Shannon Hunze of Show Me Healthy Women who informed the audience of free breast cancer and cervical screenings available for eligible women.

For more information, call the American Cancer Society at 334-9197 or

335-6611, extension 133

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