Breast cancer survivors find support, hope at event
HUNTINGTON -- There were plenty of goodies and even a raffle prize at the 12th annual Celebration of Hope, hosted by the Save Our Sisters program, Thursday night, but there was one very important thing every participant received without getting a raffle ticket.
"It's all about support," said Rebecca Glass, women's health outreach coordinator at Ebenezer Medical Outreach. "It is a celebration of people who have beaten breast cancer, and it's a way to remember and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives because of it."
More than 40 people came to First Baptist Church along 6th Avenue to be a part of the event sponsored by Ebenezer, of which Save Our Sisters is a branch.
The event included a memorial tribute, songs, poetry readings and a message of unity for those lives that have been affected by breast cancer, like Vera Bowman, who was one of the keynote speakers at the event.
Bowman said she did not have health insurance when she went to a free clinic at Cabell Huntington Hospital almost five years ago and found out she had cancer.
It was thanks to the efforts of Ebenezer, which partly is funded by the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, that she was able to receive the treatment she needed.
"I felt like this disease was going to take over my body, and there was nothing I was going to be able to do about it," she said. "It was thanks to that program and to these people that I have my life back."
Glass placed emphasis on early detection of cancer during the event. She said getting a mammogram is something that easily can be put to the side, but the sooner the cancer is diagnosed, the more likely the patient is to beat it.
"So many people say to us 'I don't want to know if I have it," she said. "I hope people take away that cancer is not a death sentence, and with early diagnosis, aggressive treatment and the right support system they can take care of it."
For more information about Ebenezer Medical Outreach, visit www.emohealth.org.