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First Ever SurvivorFest Held at El Chico’s in the Mall of Abilene

By Toni Brown



ABILENE- The First EVER SurvivorFEST was held at El Chico’s in the Mall of Abilene on Saturday, October 10, 2009. This event was the vision of a current breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in May of this year. Friends and family surrounded Barbara Pointer when she was diagnosed and began her treatment, and this sparked an idea in Barbara. Why not celebrate all the women who have battled this disease!{{more}} SurvivorFEST celebrates life and encourages women in Taylor County to know their bodies, seek medical attention when they find symptoms, and have their annual mammograms. Dr. Laura Bennett, local plastic surgeon, spoke to women about life after breast cancer. She educated women about breast reconstruction and informed the attendees that insurance covers reconstruction after mastectomy. Toni Brown Dr. Kathryn Norton, General Surgeon, spoke about diagnosis and charged women with the understanding that an abnormal mammogram and referral to her office does not equal breast cancer. “Most abnormal mammograms are not cancer,” says Dr. Norton. She encouraged women to know that breast cancer, if caught early, is treatable. Breast Cancer Survivor Lane Beecher SurvivorFEST also provided Dr. Len Tadvick, Doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who also shared with the attendees the importance of regular breast exams by your physician and he stressed the importance of self breast exams. Barbara Pointer Several breast cancer survivors shared their stories of diagnosis, their battle, and their triumph over this dreadful disease. The Abilene Star Chorus provided entertainment, and Christopher & Bank along with CJ Banks hosted a fashion show to display how women can dress to flatter after breast surgery. Debbi Flora with the Abilene Regional Medical Center Women’s Diagnostic Center provided information regarding digital mammography and stereotactic biopsy available at ARMC. “Digital mammography is more successful at finding small cancers and we are fortunate to have these medical breakthroughs so more women will defeat breast cancer,” she says. Proceeds from the SurvivorFEST benefit the Women’s Health Awareness program at the Alliance for Women and Children. The mission of the Women’s Health program is to educate women in Taylor and the surrounding 19 counties regarding the importance of regular breast screening practices and to provide mammograms to uninsured women in the area.“The Alliance for Women and Children is proud to partner with Barbara to celebrate life and enlist our community in the fight against breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates 13,090 Texas women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 with 2,570 deaths from the disease. We want to see the day when there are no deaths from breast cancer,” said Toni Brown, Program Manager of the Women’s Health Awareness program at the Alliance for Women & Children.–20–The Alliance for Women and Children is appreciative of the sponsors of this years SurvivorFEST including the planning committee of Barbara Pointer, Sandra Minnick, Renee Gonzalez and Toni Brown. As well as, thank you to the sponsors including the Mall of Abilene, The Brittish Shoppe, El Chico, Christopher and Banks, CJ Banks, Lamar Advertising. The Mall of Abilene and the Brittish Shoppe will be selling pink breast cancer awareness bracelets, pink ribbons in honor or memory of a loved one, and SurvivorFEST T-shirts for a donation to the Alliance for Women and Children. Women may qualify for a free mammogram through the Women’s Health Awareness program if they are uninsured. Please call 325-677-5321 and ask for the Women’s Health Awareness program to see if you qualify.-30-The Alliance for Women and Children empowers women and families and embraces ethnic diversity through programs designed to promote well being, self-sufficiency and future success. Located at 1350 N. 10th in Abilene, the Alliance has been serving the Abilene-area community since 1920.

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