Unity Health recently celebrated the 23rd annual Barbara Montgomery Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon. The event honored the lives of breast cancer survivors and those currently battling the disease.
"We were honored to have more survivors in attendance this year than previous years at the luncheon," Unity Health Director of Marketing, Brooke Pryor said. "We have an outstanding oncology team in Searcy and they educate us each year during the event, sharing the significance of breast cancer awareness. It was an additional honor to have a Mayo Clinic physician with us as our keynote speaker."
As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Unity Health welcomed physician Dr. Alvaro Moreno Aspitia to deliver the keynote address at the event. Moreno serves as a Breast Oncologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. He shared his expertise on the latest advances of breast cancer treatment and breakthroughs in cancer research.
The theme of this year's luncheon was inspired by the pink agate stone that stands for strength and courage. The stone served as a reminder of the bravery survivors have shown through their own challenges and encouraging those who still face the fight. Survivors received gifts, balloons, roses and their own pink agate stones, painted with the crystal's meaning.
"I feel blessed every year to be surrounded by such strong women at our Breast Cancer Luncheon," Anna Brumfield said, Unity Health Marketing Coordinator. "These women inspire me and so many others to be courageous in whatever trials we may face in our lives.They are not only sharing their stories at the luncheon, but sharing their strength and experiences with others in the community and this makes a difference in the lives of so many."
Linda Ingram, Rhonda Crossen and Stacy Rice shared their individual stories of dealing with breast cancer diagnoses through a video that was shown during the event. These women each gave their testimonies of the faith and endurance required to overcome the diagnosis. Erin Hawley, a co-anchor for LIVE at 5 and MidDay Arkansas of KATV Channel 7, served for her third year as emcee of the event.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with the disease in her lifetime. Each year more than 246,660 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed and there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors alive in the nation today. Women ages 40 to 54 should receive mammograms annually.