Photo by Kelly White
Cousins Sarah Wilks (from left), 25, of Naperville, and Amanda Zimmerman, 22, of Evergreen Park, paint pumpkins together on Saturday morning at Little Company of Mary Hospital's third annual Pink Pumpkin Painting Party.
By Kelly White
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide annual campaign to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research.
The staff at Little Company of Mary Hospital hosted its third annual Pink Pumpkin Painting Party to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Saturday morning at the hospital, 2800 W. 95th St., Evergreen Park.
“I love that Little Company of Mary has created a community event where women can have these important conversations surrounding breast health in a comfortable environment all while enjoying time with friends,” said Jilma Patrick, M.D., fellowship-trained breast surgeon at Little Company of Mary.
At the event, organized by Little Company of Mary Hospital and its health care centers, Patrick provided a brief presentation on risk factors, prevention, early detection of breast cancer and the importance of mammograms.
More than 75 men, women and children of all ages attended and were able enjoy light autumn-themed snacks, refreshments and coffee while painting the pumpkins pink. It was the perfect combination to tie together breast cancer awareness month and the Halloween season, according to guests who attended the event.
“This is a really nice event that the hospital has put together,” said Jackie Mitchell, of Chicago. “Not only do we have the opportunity to speak with a breast surgeon, we are able to sit and talk with other women and share our own stories. Cancer almost affects everyone to some degree, and it is nice to have these types of outlets.”
The color pink is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons and the color in general, identify the breast cancer brand and express moral support for women and survivors of breast cancer.
“Guests were able to support a wonderful cause in the community, raise awareness for breast cancer and learn the latest information on breast health,” said Lee Batsakis, supervisor of public relations and marketing for Little Company.
“This is a great event, and it all goes towards a good cause,” said Marlo Carrano, of Evergreen Park.
The $5 participation fee included a pumpkin provided by hospital staff. All funds raised went directly to benefit the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk (BBCW).
The 20th Annual BBCW will take place on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12. The BBCW benefits Little Company of Mary’s Cancer Center, Comprehensive Breast Health Center and Mammography Department, allowing the hospital to provide state-of-the-art treatment and services to breast cancer patients and their families.
According to the NIH National Cancer Institute, inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and aggressive disease in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. The hospital aids in early detection with same day biopsy results and 3D mammography, according to Patrick.
The hospital also offers online appointment scheduling for screening mammograms. A doctor’s order is not needed to schedule a screening mammogram, and an appointment can be made by visiting www.LCMH.org/onlinescheduling.