MADISON — Every two minutes someone is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Boone County’s 21st annual “Breast Cancer Awareness Day Ceremony” took place at noon on Monday on the front steps of the Boone County Courthouse in Madison. The event’s goal is to honor survivors, remember those lost to the disease and to bring awareness to health care availability to those in need.
“Today’s ceremony is an event that brings awareness and promotes the journey to surviving and finding a cure,” said Ruth Ann Elkins, secretary of the Racine Community Educational Outreach Service (CEOS) Club. “All of this event was done by volunteers for West Virginia breast and cervical cancer screening programs.”
Survivors, families and friends came for a day of prayer, remembering, honoring, fun and information. Racine CEOS was also selling tickets for a beautiful pink hand-made quilt it is raffling off to raise funds and awareness.
“I am also a breast cancer survivor,” said Elkins.
The day had tables set up for information and merchandise given away as door prizes. People that attended were given the invocation and benedicttion by the Rev. Rick Swearengin and entertained by special singing by Daisy Plaster.
“I don’t think people really understand there’s definitely an emotional time going through breast cancer, and you can really see it with the volunteers and the survivors today, and I think it’s really important for people to understand it’s more than just a disease. It’s a life changing experience for these women,” said Anna Reno, a health care specialist for West Virginia University that serves 14 counties in the state, including Boone.
“We want to educate women and men about risk factors and free or low-sot services women can receive through the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program,” Reno said.
Reno said more information is available online at www.wvdhhr.org/wvbccsp/ including income guidelines and who is eligible for the services.
Boone Memorial Hospital’s new CEO Virgil Underwood also spoke at the event.
“All of you at this event are truly inspirational to our community,” he said. “The hospital offers state-of-the-art, fully digital mammogram and radiology services and we are very proud of it. We will also be enhancing our services once the new hospital is opened in 2016.”
Shelli May, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society, said Boone County does well in raising funds and awareness of breast cancer.
“They always meet their ‘Relay’ goals and do a really good job helping to fund research,”she said.
May said the American Cancer Society is the second largest fundraiser for breast cancer research, next to only the federal government.
“We want to help save lives and diminish suffering,” she added.
The Boone County Commission also proclaimed Oct. 5 as “Breast Cancer Awareness Day” in Boone County, and October as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”
This weekend, the Julia Price Breast Cancer Foundation “Spooktacular 5K” is set for Saturday morning, Oct. 10 at 9 a.m. at Scott High School.
Registration fee for the race is $20.
Participants will receive a T-shirt and finishing towel. Awards will be given to overall winners and the top finisher in each age division. Participants are also encouraged dress in “kid friendly” costumes as awards will be given for the “best.”
Persons can register at Ferrell & Hill Insurance Agency through Friday, Oct. 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, you can call Amanda Smith at 304-687-8082.
Breast Reconstruction Awareness or “BRA Day” is Wednesday, Oct 17.
Fred Pace is an editor for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-369-1165, ext. 1661, in Madison; at 304-752-6950, ext. 1729 in Logan; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or @fcpace62 on Twitter.