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Painting pumpkins pink for breast cancer awareness

pink pumpkin photo 10 24 Photo by Kelly White

The staff at Little Company of Mary Hospital hosted it fourth annual Pink Pumpkin Painting Party in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Saturday morning at the hospital in Evergreen Park.

By Kelly White

Pink, the color for unconditional love and understanding, is associated with giving and receiving care.

During the month of October, the pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons, and typically anything showcasing the color, represent breast cancer awareness and express moral support for women with breast cancer.

The staff at Little Company of Mary Hospital hosted its fourth annual Pink Pumpkin Painting Party to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month Saturday morning at the hospital, 2800 W. 95th St., Evergreen Park.

“October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and we wanted to come up with a creative, inspirational way to raise awareness for breast cancer while also incorporating festive elements of the fall season,” said Lee Batsakis, supervisor of public relations and marketing at Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers.

“This event brings women together for a great cause,” said Marlo Carrano, of Evergreen Park.

At the event, organized by Little Company of Mary Hospital and its health care centers, Dr. Jilma Patrick, fellowship-trained breast surgeon at Little Company of Mary Hospital, provided a brief presentation on risk factors, prevention, early detection of breast cancer, and the importance of mammograms.

Also available for information and questions was Dr. Shamila Garg, fellowship-trained hematologist/oncologist, and Dr. Julia Choo, radiation oncologist.

“What I love most about the work I do is giving patients hope,”Garg said. “It’s important to remember that you are never just a number. Here, you are our family.”

More than 60 women and children of all ages attended and were able enjoy light autumn-themed snacks, refreshments and coffee while painting the pumpkins pink. It was the perfect combination to tie together breast cancer awareness month and the Halloween season, and attendees agreed.

The $5 participation fee included a pumpkin provided by hospital staff. Pink paint was also available. However, most attendees brought in accessories as well, ranging from glitter to feathers.

“I think this is awesome,” said Janice Fox-Thompson, a breast cancer survivor from Oak Lawn. “After all we have been through on this horrible journey, it is wonderful to be able to come together like this.”

“I really enjoy this event,” said Fran Coger, of Chicago. “It gives you the opportunity to talk to so many women and hear their amazing stories.”

All funds raised went directly to benefit the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk (BBCW).

The 21st annual BBCW will take place on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10. The BBCW benefits Little Company of Mary’s Cancer Center, Comprehensive Breast Health Center and Mammography Department, allowing the hospital to provide state-of-the-art treatment and services to breast cancer patients and their families.

The hospital aids in the early detection of breast cancer by offering same-day biopsy results and 3D mammography.

“Mammography screening is the key to early detection,” Patrick said.

Offering highly detailed results is the hospital’s Genius 3D Mammography. This form of mammography exam offers advanced breast tomosynthesis technology, a digital high-resolution tool. These exams that only take seconds longer than a traditional 2D mammogram are clinically proven to significantly increase the detection of breast cancer, while simultaneously decreasing the number of women asked to return for additional testing, Patrick said.

“In offering this exam, Little Company of Mary Hospital is able to provide our patients a more accurate tool for breast cancer screening,” Patrick said. “This advanced technology will play an important role in both the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.”

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