‘Luncheon of Hope’ coming up soon

Every second year since 1995, the Rainy River District Breast Health Network has organized a “Luncheon of Hope” to promote breast cancer awareness and education for women of all ages.
This year’s luncheon is set for Saturday, Oct. 22 at La Place Rendez-Vous. Tickets cost $25 each, which are available now at Pharmasave, Gagné Pharmacy, Emo Health Centre, Rainy River Health Centre, and La Verendrye Hospital.
“It’s a great afternoon to share with your mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, or friend,” noted Sandy McKinnon, a network member as well as a registered nurse for the Riverside Breast Health Program.
“We have wonderful attendance prizes, good information about breast cancer, and it’s just a great opportunity to go out for lunch on a Saturday afternoon,” she added.
The network is pleased to welcome Teresa Hazel as the guest speaker this year. Hazel will be giving a tribute to her mom, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39.
She will share her experience in coping with the diagnosis, her mom’s strength in living with breast cancer, and her hope for the future in the fight against breast cancer.
Another special guest will be Bridget O’Reilly, RN, who will share some of her life experiences.
The lucky winner of the “Quilt for the Cure” raffle also will be drawn that day. Tickets for this beautiful queen-sized quilt, donated by the local Sew ’n Sews Quilt Club, are on sale now for $2 each at various locations.
This will be the sixth “Luncheon of Hope” put on by the Rainy River District Breast Health Network, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Eva Thornton, who worked with Rhoda Dickson to establish the network, is very proud of its accomplishments.
“The network has definitely increased the awareness about breast cancer and helped educate thousands of women about the importance of early detection and total breast health,” noted Thornton.
“The network has also helped to increase the numbers of women seen at Riverside’s Breast Health Program through their various activities, including the ‘Luncheon of Hope,’” added Thornton, who also was instrumental in bringing a breast education program to the district.
The Riverside Breast Education Program was established in 1985 through the vision of Anna Busch, who was the director of nursing at that time.
She, along with Dr. Audrey Johnstone and Thornton, spearheaded the push for funding to provide this service to women of all ages across the district.
The breast education program provides thorough breast examinations by trained professionals, as well as offers education about total breast health and how to conduct monthly breast self-examinations.
Referrals for mammograms also are given, if needed.
“It is these measures that are helping with the survival rates of women diagnosed with breast cancer,” stressed Thornton. “The earlier it is detected, the better chance of becoming a survivor.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women. This year alone, an estimated 21,600 will be diagnosed with the disease.
The good news is that death rates from breast cancer currently are at their lowest since the 1950s and have declined by 20 percent since 1986.
This is a result of earlier detection through organized mammography screening programs and improved therapies following surgery.
Call 274-1900 today to book your appointment at the Riverside Breast Health Program.
And don’t miss out on this afternoon of hope. Get your tickets early at Pharmasave, Gagné Pharmacy, or by calling Shawn at 274-4817.

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