Dozens of pink pinwheels were blowing in the wind as Porter Health Care System staff, administration, and local breast cancer survivors gathered outside the main entrance of Porter Regional Hospital on Wednesday afternoon to “Blow Away Breast Cancer.” Survivors shared their stories with the group, emphasized the importance of routine mammograms and thanked the staff and physicians at Porter Regional Hospital who aided in their treatment and recovery.
During the ceremony, a bright pink breast cancer awareness flag was raised in front of the hospital to serve as a visual reminder to staff and patients the importance of early detection.
The annual ceremony, which is held in October to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, featured Porter Health Care System CEO Steve Lunn reading the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Proclamation that Porter has adopted.
“Breast cancer awareness and education are critical,” Lunn stated. “In order to provide the best possible chance of early detection, self-breast examinations should be performed regularly, and women over the age of 40 are encouraged to have annual mammograms. Thank you to all of our survivors here today who have the courage to share their stories. You are truly saving lives.”
Valparaiso resident and breast cancer survivor Sue Davis attended the ceremony to show her support for the cause. After receiving care at Porter Regional Hospital, she felt it was important to attend so she could show her appreciation for the excellent treatment she received and for Porter's commitment to raise awareness for breast cancer by participating in the event.
“I was diagnosed here at Porter Regional Hospital and I received some of the most incredible care,” Davis stated. “All the staff was so wonderful and took great care of me. I was so happy that I was being treated here. I was two years in between my mammograms and then I was diagnosed with cancer. If I would’ve delayed my examinations, I could’ve been in a lot worse shape than I was. Events like this are very important because most people with breast cancer really don’t know they have it until it’s found on a mammogram or with a self examination.”
Stacey Kellogg, Regional Manager of Community Relations, assisted in organizing the event logistics and engaged with staff during the rally to show her support for the cause. She made sure to have plenty of tissues on hand as everyone shed tears when sharing stories about their initial diagnosis and cheered with the crowd as they applauded words of hope, remission, and survival.
"The Blow Away Breast Cancer has been organized by individuals within the Porter Health Care System who either directly treat breast cancer patients or who have experienced breast cancer themselves," Kellogg explained. “It’s really a way to empower our women in the community who have faced breast cancer or know someone who has faced breast cancer to celebrate their successes and treatments. We also come together to mourn some of our losses as well. We have both celebration and maybe some tears but in the end the idea is to provide support to show the community that we are here to blow away breast cancer. We’re here to provide treatment. We’re here to provide all of those necessary support networks that both women and their families need when they’re diagnosed.”
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month progresses, Porter Regional Hospital will continue to display their “Raise Awareness, Find a Cure” flag. Porter has two campuses and seven outpatient facilities all throughout Northwest Indiana, making it easier than ever for patients to schedule their routine mammograms. As displayed at the “Blow Away Breast Cancer” rally, Porter Health Care System continues to commit themselves to excellence and personalized, patient-centered care.
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