Hamilton Cancer Institute and Hamilton Diagnostics Center hosted the 8th annual Pampered in Pink event at the Dalton Convention Center in October. The event was sponsored, in part, by the North Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition.
More than 400 guests attended the event, which included 75 volunteers. Pampered in Pink honored Hamilton patients who have been diagnosed in the last seven years, with a special emphasis on encouraging newly diagnosed patients in their journey.
The event included dinner (served by Hamilton administrators), breast cancer education, a fashion show, vendors, door prizes and a dance presentation.
Eric Manahan, MD, with Hamilton Physician Group – General Surgery, spoke about the American Society of Breast Surgeons recommending consideration of genetic testing of all patients with breast cancer.
“We know that approximately five to ten percent of breast cancer comes from a recognizable and testable gene that can be inherited and passed down to the next generation,” said Manahan. “We want to identify those people so we can increase our surveillance or possibly prevent future cancers in their families.”
The fashion show included 17 models, most being breast cancer survivors. They included: Wileena Peeples, Kim Miller, Michelle Satcher Wynn, Angie Skidmore, Catherine Czerneski, Mercedes Vital, Debbie Williams, Rosie Martinez, Dianne Green, Sandy Cochran, Michelle Frix, Muna Wagner, Clarence Willingham, Teresa Green, Cindy Breeden, Glo Gunn and Jane Peeples Stanfield.
Fashion show vendor participation included: Unique Selections, Posh Peacock, Fiddleheads, Ann Taylor Loft, Ann Taylor Factory, Fitting Room and Steinmart.
Other vendors at the event included: Bradley Wellness Center, Whitfield Healthcare Foundation, The Perfect Fit Salon, The Georgia Women’s Fly Fishers, North Georgia Healthcare Partnership, and Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition.
As part of the entertainment, Alexis Burleson and Grace Watkins, Unity Touring Dancers, specially choreographed and danced an interpretive dance to “This is Me” by Kesha (from “The Greatest Showman”).
This year, Hamilton Diagnostics Center had 75 new breast cancer diagnoses within an 11-month period, with two of them being male. The national average is one man in every 1,000 diagnoses. Clarence Willingham, one of the fashion show models who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, says he will make it his life’s work to educate men on the topic. “The best way to get the news out is to tell women,” he said. “They will be the mouthpiece to their men.” Willingham is a native of Chattanooga and models often in area breast cancer awareness events.