To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month and honor the courage of those fighting the disease and the lives lost, the University of Richmond Medical Center hosted a ceremony Thursday afternoon that included remarks from hospital leaders, medical staff and breast cancer survivors.
A pink flag was hoisted atop the hospital pole by these survivors to fly over the hospital throughout October.
Rosemarie Stazzone, Director of Operations and Chief Nurse of RUMC, opened the ceremony: “First Lady Betty Ford helped kick off Breast Cancer Month in 1974 when her husband Gerald Ford was President of the United States,” said she declared. “My own mother, Rita Ferrari, was diagnosed and treated. The goal of breast cancer awareness is to keep the public informed about early detection and treatment and available options, and to empower women to take charge of their own health. And we celebrate these pink ribbons founded by the Estee Lauder Company in 1992. ”
Daniel J. Messina, President and CEO of West Brighton Healthcare Facility: “On behalf of everyone at the University of Richmond Medical Center, I would like to start by offering our thoughts to all of you. those who have lost a loved one to breast cancer ”. he said. “I would also like to express our continued admiration and support for breast cancer survivors here and across Staten Island. Your courage is truly impressive. Currently, a woman has a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. As we gather here today, if there is one take-away message from today’s ceremony, let there be hope. But also remember that the first line of defense in the fight against breast cancer is you! The importance of mammograms and early detection cannot be overstated. “
Deputy Borough President Ed Burke said, “We are here to save lives. This is what consciousness does. And I’m also here in memory of a family member I lost to breast cancer. And I would like to thank Dan Messina and all of you here today.
And Krismelys Diaz, a breast cancer survivor shared her story: “I don’t consider myself a breast cancer survivor. I am a veteran, a warrior, a hero. I was diagnosed in July 2019 and learned a lot from my experience. I wouldn’t change a thing and if I can use it to help others along the way, it was well worth it. I have a great team of doctors. And I grew up from that trip. God has been good to me. “
Immediately afterwards, staff and participants were invited to plant lawn markers in front of the hospital as part of a Garden of Hope. The names of breast cancer survivors or lost have been inscribed on the markers that will remain in front of the hospital throughout the month.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 276,400 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2020 and about 42,170 women will die from the disease.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with the exception of skin cancer.