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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Celebrating life boldly

Maggie Martin/The Times

Sabra Brown Martin. (Top photo.)

She was my mother.

At four, she was a victim of the Flu Pandemic of 1918 when her mother died in it.

And some 50 years later, she became a statistic herself in another kind of epidemic - breast cancer that spread to her bones.

So, thoughts turned to her, as they always do when I cover anything connected with cancer, on July 26 when I attended the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Shreveport-Bossier Affiliate "Celebrate Life with Boldness." A full house stopped by Ristorante Giuseppe for the gala noon affair.

I thought of her battle and to the progress made in research and treatment since those days when she had a masectomy and treatment that was agonizing, but futile.

There were many cancer survivors, like Linda Pedro, Patricia Claussen and Wanda H. Brooks at the luncheon.

And, there were activists, ike chairwoman Kedgy Larson and state Rep. Jane Smith. (Paula Linn is president of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Shreveport-Bossier Affiliate. She says that supporters are now referred to as "activists." Linn is shown in the second photo with new affiliate executive director Danielle Voumard. )

But it was a joyous affair that included a style show, luncheon, and contests and raffle prizes.
Guests were asked to wear pink and they did in boas, hats, dresses, pants, suits and even underwear!

My mother would have loved it!

But Komen hadn’t even been formed when my mother died in 1971 at 54.

Komen’s statistics today show that breast cancer death rate has been dropping about two percent annually since 1990 to 2002 in all women combined with larger decreases in younger women. It is a decline attributed to earlier detection through screening, increased awareness and improved treatment.

Even with that bit of good news, there are chilling stats. They include: "One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes and one woman will die of breast cancer every 14 minutes in the United States."

The most proven and significant risk factors for getting breast cancer: Being female and getting older for a woman’s chance of developing it increases with age.

But Komen’s goal, said Linn, is to wipe breast cancer off the face of the earth.
It was a promise Dallas resident Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister Susan G. Komen.

To that end, she launched the well respected gloabal breast cancer movement.

To help with the fight, there is the well known Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

It will be held locally Sept. 15 at Mall St. Vincent.


Blogger Paula Linn said...

Maggie, thanks so much for attending the Survivor Luncheon. If anyone would like more information about our Affiliate, please see our website at www.komenshreveportbossier.org. If we can provide educational material concerning this life threatening disease, call our office at (318)220-7050.
Paula Linn-Shreveport-Bossier Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

9:21 AM  

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