On Saturday morning, the Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center of Methodist Hospitals hosted their 6th Annual Pink Party.
The Pink Party had lots of fun to keep attendees entertained the whole morning. Pampering, goodie bags, and a 5k Walk & Run were just a few of the great highlights.
Jennifer Sanders, Manager of the Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center, said each year, the party is intended to encourage women to visit a breast center, especially if they have never been to one.
“It’s an opportunity to come in and not be committed to a mammogram and be part of a normal business day,” Sanders said. “It takes the pressure off; come with your girlfriends and have some fun. We do these events to bring a human side to this disease.”
Sanders, who has spent 20 years in the field, said that it is the center’s mission to assist patients in overcoming any obstacles that would prevent them from receiving breast cancer screenings. One of the biggest hurdles for many women is the financial burden.
Sanders stated, “We get a grant from the Chicago Bears every year that supports our ‘No Woman Left Behind Program.’ This program allows us to carry our women from start to finish.”
Another common obstacle is fear. Sanders said that the entire staff works to put patients at ease.
“We get to know our patients and some of our survivors come back to volunteer,” Sanders said. “We are one big happy family.”
Diane Sears, Admitting Coordinator, said their staff is always working to calm patients’ nerves and be supportive at all times. This has been a fulfilling aspect of Sears’ 17-year-long career.
“It puts a smile on my face to know I’ve helped someone,” Sears said.
While the center helps a lot women, almost half of women in Lake and Porter County still do not partake in yearly mammograms. Sears explained that the Pink Party helps get the word out in the community.
“Today is about breast cancer awareness and the walk of survivors,” she said.
Outside, the rain stopped just in time. Julie Carney and Dianne Winborn walked side-by-side during the Pink Party’s 5k Walk & Run. Carney is a patient at the center, and said that she felt welcome the moment she walked through the door.
“They explained everything very well. I don’t have breast cancer, but they keep a close eye on me due to a mass that I have.”
Winborn said that she and Carney participated in the walk to show solidarity with survivors.
“We have family members and close friends who’ve had breast cancer, and we want to keep hope alive,” Winborn said. “We support [events like these] just so they’ll know we are here and standing for them.”
Winborn said these screenings are vital as they saves lives of so many women. She explained that walks, like the Pink Party’s 5k, speak an important message to the community. “This is a beautiful event, and the more support we get, the more awareness we get.”