LEWISTOWN In the continuing local fight against breast cancer, the Lady Lions raised a record-breaking $203,000 at this year's Pink Zone basketball game. The organization then donated the earnings to six local beneficiaries, including Lewistown Hospital. which received more than $16,000 in July.
"The Pennsylvania Pink Zone promotes cancer awareness and empowers survivors through year-round efforts to raise funds critical in supporting vital breast cancer organizations, charities and facilities," said Miriam Powell, executive director of Pennsylvania Pink Zone. "Lewistown Hospital is a perfect example of how our beneficiaries can be our ambassadors for spreading the word about the importance of breast cancer awareness."
Lewistown Hospital is putting the funds toward breast cancer education and wellness seminars. One of the upcoming programs offered through the Cancer Treatment Center is the Living Well Cancer Survivor program. The class will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday in September, beginning Sept. 5. The four classes focus on survivorship and life after cancer treatment, teaching cancer survivors - those who are living with cancer or have been treated for it - how to live well and stay well.
Miriam Powell, executive director of Pennsylvania Pink Zone, left, presents a donation check to Kay Hamilton, president and CEO of Lewistown Hospital, on July 17, to continue cancer education, prevention, diagnoses and treatment.
"Survivorship classes differ because the focus is on the post-treatment period, after cancer diagnosis and treatment, not during the actual treatment," said Melissa Knepp, nurse navigator of the imaging department and Living Well program instructor. "[These classes are a] continuum of care after treatment, as a follow-up with our patients, to assure that they are receiving the follow-up care they need and are aware of the potential signs and symptoms, and making the necessary lifestyle changes."
Teresa McMinn, cancer care coordinator and Living Well program instructor, said cancer treatment is a life-altering experience for all patients. The survivorship program, as well as local support groups, help to bridge the transition of care from cancer treatment to refocusing on a normal lifestyle again, she added.
The program also includes a treatment plan which will be determined based on diagnoses and team discussions with each patient's health care providers. Classes are free and registration will be accepted by phone at 242-7297 until Aug. 29. Another Living Well Cancer Survivor Program will be offered in March.
Lewistown Hospital and its Wellness 4 Women Group will continue generating cancer awareness and fundraising after the Living Well classes end with the Pink Out live auction on Sept. 28. All proceeds will be added to the Pink Zone final fundraising amount, which will be redistributed between the six beneficiaries after the 2013 Lady Lions' Pink Zone game.
According to Phyllis Mitchell, vice president of marketing and community affairs for Lewistown Hospital, $20,000 was raised at the 2011 Pink Out auction.
"Last year's event was very successful with lots of support from local businesses and residents," Mitchell said. "Many hospital employees, local businesses and community members donated baskets and items for raffle or auction. We are expecting this year to be even better."
The event will begin, rain or shine, at 3 p.m. in the Lewistown Hospital visitor parking lot with a pig roast, silent auction, themed basket raffle and an opportunity to view auction items. It is free to attend the event and tickets will be on sale for the pig roast dinner. The live auction, hosted by Tammy Miller, local cancer survivor and author of "The Lighter Side of Breast Cancer Recovery," will begin at 5 p.m.
Miller believes that living with cancer is about more than a diagnosis and treatment plan, but also about communication, community and a positive attitude.
"Local events like Pink Out are extremely important to communities because it's important to let someone going through this type of diagnosis know they are not alone in the journey," Miller said. "Sometimes people want to reach out and help others, but they are not sure how to do it. Events like Pink Out help us come together as a community and demonstrate that together, we do make a difference."