Posts Tagged ‘survivor’

Pat Halpin-Murphy Named Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania

Posted By on October 16th, 2012 at 9:00 am | 0 comments.

 

PBCC President & Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy was recently elected as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. Pat was presented with a medal and a citation by Governor Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett during an event at the Governor’s Residence. “The exceptional accomplishments of this talented group of women bring both honor and respect to Pennsylvania,” Governor Corbett said. “I am grateful for their continued commitment to making our state a better place.”

 

Pat was chosen for this honor because of her tireless work with the PBCC, as well as her service on Pennsylvania’s Cancer Advisory Board, and co-chairing the Pennsylvania Refunds for Research Committee. She also serves on a number of national boards and commissions and co-authored Breast Cancer: Covered or Not? A Guide on Insurance..

 

The Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania was established in 1948 as a way to honor women who have shown distinguished service through a professional career and/or voluntary service.

 

Survivor Spotlight – Lesley Rogers

Posted By on August 16th, 2012 at 10:00 am | 0 comments.

In May 2010 while participating in a breast cancer fundraiser, my husband, Scott, read the statistic about 1 in 8 women being diagnosed and immediately asked when my first mammogram was. The next day I made the appointment for 2 weeks after my 40th birthday. At the appointment the radiologist told me I needed to have a biopsy. That was Tuesday; by Friday I had the biopsy and by Monday was diagnosed.

Based on my physician’s recommendation and the BRCA test result I had a bilateral mastectomy. While my cancer was confined to the ducts it was widespread and aggressive so I was thankful I hadn’t waited to have my mammogram. Over the next 8 months I had multiple surgeries including an oophorectomy and unsuccessful reconstructive surgeries. In March 2012 I had successful DIEP surgery at Johns Hopkins. I feel grateful to my breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Soto-Hamlin and my current reconstructive surgeon Dr. Rosson for their guidance.

I had heard about the PBCC before I had breast cancer. My company, Deloitte Consulting, sponsors the October conference. And then a couple weeks after my diagnosis I received a Friends Like Me care package. I attended the 2011 conference and was excited to see the grant given to Dr. Meyers to support his cancer research. The PBCC’s tagline “finding a cure now so our daughters won’t have to” resonates loudly since we have a 4 year-old daughter, Ashley. This year we participated in the Take a Swing against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby in Harrisburg. While participating, our 6 year-old son Tyler, asked “If I hit a home run, does that mean no more breast cancer?”

I tell everyone I am an example of why you should get your mammogram as soon as you turn 40, not 6 months later. And if someone you know is diagnosed, instead of asking “can I do anything?” offer something tangible … prepare a meal or run an errand. I am lucky to have had such an amazing support group – my family, friends and co-workers made my crazy journey a little easier.

Young Survivor Denied Coverage for Reconstruction

Posted By on August 16th, 2012 at 9:57 am | 0 comments.

The PBCC counts among its many legislative victories the Breast Cancer Reconstructive Surgery Coverage Act – which mandates that insurers cover the cost of reconstructive surgery for breast cancer survivors. So when the PBCC learned from WGAL that Courtney Morrison’s insurer was not going to cover a second reconstruction to correct a problem after her first, we knew we had to get to the bottom of the issue. Click here for the WGAL story.

The Breast Cancer Reconstructive Surgery Coverage Act, passed in 1997, requires insurers to cover the cost of reconstructive surgery after mastectomy and symmetry of the breasts within six years. However, Courtney’s employer is self-insured, and under the current legislation, self-insured employers are exempt from the requirement to cover the surgery. We hope that, with our help, Courtney’s situation will be resolved and she will be able to get coverage for the surgery.

Competition Heats Up in Washington

Posted By on July 26th, 2012 at 5:10 pm | 0 comments.

The sun was out as our teams, individual batters and an abundance of volunteers gathered on July 20th at the Washington Wild Things at Consol Energy Park. The 5th derby of the season kicked off with local Representatives Brandon Neuman and Robert Matzie going head to head to see which team would claim official bragging rights over the other. They decided that the losing team would have to wear the pink boa on the House floor in order to bring awareness to the Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer® competition.  With the help of 8 home runs (7 coming from one batter alone!), Neuman’s Crew won for the second consecutive year, and Rob Matzie will soon be seen publicly in the pink boa, all in the name of breast cancer awareness!

Thanks to all of our teams and spectacular volunteers at the Washington Wild Things. Check out the lineup of teams and individual batters below:

And our home run hitters included:

Congratulations to batter Bill Klenoshek, who is currently our overall individual batter winner with 675 points and of course our 7-home-run-batter Joe Oliphant!  Thank you to everyone who came out to the Washington Derby, and special thanks to the staff at Consol Energy Park for your support and entertainment throughout the day! Our volunteers truly appreciated the dance music in between batters! Everyone that was there made this a very energetic, silly and successful event for the PBCC. View all the photos from our day at the ballpark here.

Rain Doesn’t Dampen Batters’ Appetite for Home Runs at the Erie SeaWolves

Posted By on July 24th, 2012 at 10:08 pm | 0 comments.

Erie BattersOn Thursday, July 19, the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s 5th Annual Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer® traveled all the way to Jerry Uht Park in Erie, Pa with 13 teams, 3 individual batters and a handful of energetic volunteers. The day began bright and dry, but gave way to a little rain in the afternoon. That didn’t stop 5 determined batters from rolling up their sleeves and hitting it out of the park for breast cancer! Thanks to everyone who came out to cheer on the teams and to our great volunteers who even stood out in the rain to shag balls and clean up the field with us! Your support truly made for a successful home run derby! Congratulations to all of the teams and batters, check out their scores below:

Congratulations as well to all of our home run hitters:

Erie SeaWolvesView all of the day’s photos at the Erie SeaWolves here. It was a fantastic day despite the weather as we raised awareness and funds for breast cancer survivors throughout the state. Special thanks to the great staff and management at the Erie SeaWolves, the PBCC staff loves their pink SeaWolves hats! Check out coverage of the event on GoErie.com and stay tuned for our next blog update! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@PBCC) for live updates from each derby. Until next time!

 

First Home Run of the Season at York Revolution

Posted By on July 16th, 2012 at 1:08 pm | 0 comments.

Sovereign Bank Stadium’s 37.7 foot wall at the York Revolution didn’t stop our batters from hitting it out of the park at the Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer® home run derby on Thursday, July 12. A total of 12 teams and 20 volunteers helped make our second home run derby of the season a huge success; AND we found our first home run hitter, Brad McCullough of PeoplesBank Team 3, at the event. Congratulations to Brad for his home run and high score of 525 points!

Check out the breakdown of team scores at York Revolution:

 

 

Additional thanks to the staff and players of the York Revolution, and to our media partners who showed up at the stadium: the York Dispatch and FOX43 news. Be sure to tune in to FOX43 on Friday, July 20th at 10:00 pm to catch coverage of the home run derby. View all of the York Revolution photos here. Next up: Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer at the Reading Phillies. Follow the action LIVE on twitter (@PBCC) and look for the recap here on our blog!

Go PINK at Pocono Promotes Breast Cancer Education and Early Detection

Posted By on June 22nd, 2012 at 9:52 am | 0 comments.

For Immediate Release
June 22, 2012

For PA Breast Cancer Coalition:
Heather Hibshman, 717-721-2580
For The Martel Group:
Rob Ziemba, 717-480-8610

Harrisburg, Pa. – The summer heat of August may be three months away — but a new fundraising partnership is already burning up the pavement for a statewide non-profit organization. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) recently teamed up with Lebanon-based Bill Martel Racing to promote breast cancer awareness and education at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountain 125 and The Pennsylvania ARCA 125 – Presented by Menard’s. These events will take place during the first weekend of August at The Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA.

Go Pink at Pocono benefits the PA Breast Cancer Coalition and event organizers are searching for supporting sponsors to join them in victory lane. Multiple sponsorship levels are available and include race car and race truck logos, event tickets, pit tours, driver meet-and-greets and more! Inaugural Go Pink at Pocono race t-shirts will also be for sale and are sure to be a hit. Race veteran Kyle Martel of Lebanon will drive one-of-a-kind pink vehicles during two events at the Pocono Raceway.

“This unique event will take the message of breast cancer awareness and early detection to thousands of Pennsylvania families,” said Pat Halpin-Murphy, president and founder of the PBCC. “We are extremely grateful to Bill Martel Racing for joining forces with the PBCC.”

“We are both honored and excited to promote the PBCC at one of the most visible races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – and for one of the best causes in Pennsylvania,” said Rob Ziemba, V.P. Sales and Marketing for Bill Martel Racing and The Martel Group. “The winner will be the PBCC because the money stays in Pennsylvania.”

Ziemba concluded by saying “we are racing for a reputable Pennsylvania organization and have the right race team and driver in place to help raise as much money and awareness as we can. We want to cross the finish line with the PBCC and do our part to help find a cure for breast cancer now…so our daughters won’t have to.” 

To sponsor Go Pink at Pocono, and to request additional information, please contact Rob Ziemba at rziemba@hanovercoldstorage.net. For more information about Bill Martel Racing, visit www.kylemartel.com.

The PBCC represents, supports and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants. The PBCC is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure now…so our daughters won’t have to. For information call 800-377-8828 or visit www.PABreastCancer.org.

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Survivor Spotlight – Tara Ripka: Early Detection Saved Her Life

Posted By on May 15th, 2012 at 11:24 am | 0 comments.

I was 27 years old when I felt a pain in my left breast and discovered a lump. I wasn’t really worried about it because I believed I was too young to have breast cancer. A month later at my annual check-up I told the doctor about the lump. He sent me for a needle biopsy which found irregular cells. Then they sent me for a lumpectomy but still no one, from my doctor to the surgeon, seemed concerned. In fact, before I went under anesthesia for my lumpectomy the doctor said, “It’s not cancer. You’re too young. I’ll owe you dinner if I’m wrong.” He still owes me that dinner.

That was June 2000, two days before my husband and I were scheduled to move out of the house we had sold. We were moving in with my parents to wait for our new house to be built. That turned out to be a good thing because there’s nothing like having your parents take care of you when you’re sick. Whenever my husband was working on the new house, my parents were there for me.

My sister was a great support to me too. After a second surgery to get clear margins and a sentinel node biopsy, I couldn’t move my arm and dress myself. I was too stubborn to ask the nurses to help me so I called my sister and, of course, she came.

Radiation and chemotherapy followed the lumpectomy. My first chemo treatment was on August 9, 2000. I remember the date because it was my parents’ wedding anniversary. I didn’t get sick from the first treatment but a few days later I remember drinking a soda that I thought was flat. Then all kinds of food lost its taste, including chocolate! That really made me mad! The next two chemo treatments didn’t go as smoothly but I knew it was what my body needed to get better. By the 4th and final chemo treatment, the new home was completed and ready to move in. I couldn’t have handled all of that without my family.

At 27, I had been thinking that I was invincible. I learned very quickly that none of us are. I appreciate life and my family so much more now. I had to wait for two years after completing chemo treatment before getting pregnant, so we could be sure that the chemo was out of my system. My husband Todd and I now have two daughters, Shaylin and Sadie. I will do everything in my power to keep myself healthy and I will continue to fight for a cure for my daughters’ futures.

I have a mammogram and a breast MRI every year. I’ve had genetic testing and tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation. That means I am still at a greater risk for recurrence. I may decide to have a double mastectomy at some time in the future. I had my ovaries removed which dramatically reduced my risk of ovarian cancer. The hardest part of that surgery was instantly going through menopause at the age of 35.

A lot of my friends are under 40 and haven’t starting having mammograms yet. I remind them that we’re never too young and encourage them to do breast self-exams and to be aware. And I tell everyone that if you know someone who is going through cancer, you can make a difference for them. You can help with their childcare or household chores, cook a meal, offer a ride, send a greeting card, make a phone call, or give them a hug … all are things you can do to support them.