Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Survivorship Day at Lowell General Hospital

I would like to thank Meg Lemire of Lowell General Hospital for asking me to be a part of the hospital's Survivorship Day Celebration this evening. I continue to meet so many incredible staff members, nursing staff from the cancer center, and patients who have the most amazing stories. It is such an honor to be a part of such a wonderful group of people and organization who are making such a difference in people's lives. Survivorship Day honored just that, Survivor's being treated at Lowell General Hospital's Cancer Center. First there was a raffle drawing which Sierra and I were asked to pull out the winning raffle tickets which consisted of prizes such as a framed autographed flag from the Lowell Devils Hockey Team, a Facial Gift Certificate, a Hair Care Basket, a Mountain Bike, an Autographed Celtics photo, just to name a few. Each person attending was given a beautiful hand crafted heart pillow with breast cancer symbol patterns in all varieties, which was especially dear to me as Breast Cancer Awareness is my platform. The survivors were introduced by their nurses to share their stories with us. I was so proud of Helen Sullivan, a Stage IV Breast Cancer Survivor. Helen and I met at LGH's TeamWalk Open House earlier this year, and have run into each other since at several events leading up to TeamWalk. Helen represents exactly what my platform stands for and shows the hope and courage each patient diagnosed needs to have to fight a cancer diagnosis. Her spirit and will to fight and live life to the fullest is so touching, and I am so happy that our paths have crossed and that we will have a friendship for a long time going forward. Another inspiring story was by a woman named Katie who is from my hometown of Chelmsford. Katie is a two-time breast cancer survivor. The first time was when she was 21 years old and in college. She was forced to attend a human body well-being class by a friend, and this class eventually saved her life. The class taught her how to do breast self examinations. After finding something that didn't feel right, she made an appointment with her doctor which eventually turned into a Stage I Breast Cancer Diagnosis. The class saved her life not once, but twice as later on in life she was diagnosed yet again, this time as a wife and mother. These stories go to show that awareness and early detection do save lives. The evening ended with everyone receiving a battery operated candle, the lights were dimmed, and we had a candle ceremony to honor all the survivors of cancer. Thank you to everyone for allowing me to be a part of this special evening and to be a part of your lives, you have enriched my year as Mrs. Massachusetts with your courage and love for life and inspire me to continue bringing awareness to your cause.

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