The fight continues
The impact of Pink: Komen honors Houstonians working to end breast cancer
Pink was in the air at the Susan G. Komen Impact Awards Luncheon as several hundred guests, many dressed in the signature shade, gathered to honor a number of Houstonians who are working to end breast cancer.
A lot of questions are swirling around breast cancer issues based on such recent news as a New York Times article about when to get mammograms and Angelina Jolie’s recent news relating to prophylactic mastectomies. Komen took the opportunity at the luncheon Thursday at the Royal Sonesta Hotel to address some of the issues with a panel of experts.
The panel was moderated by Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan, with two doctors, Linda Elting from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Angelica Robinson from the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston.
“The New York Times article caused a bit of confusion with the general population,” Robinson said. “But until we have more information people should still get mammograms at the age appropriate times.”
Among those honored for their work to end breast cancer were Lester and Sue Smith, Randall's Food Market, Caitlin Murphy, Andrea Shropshire, Mothaffar F. Rimawi and Marathon Oil Corporation.
“It is actually very overwhelming for me to receive this award because when you volunteer for an organization or a foundation or for someone, you don’t ever expect anything in return,” said Rebecca Tallet, who received the New Volunteer Honoree award. “I feel very blessed for getting the award.”
Heartwarming stories were shared and tears were shed as awards were given out to 14 honorees. As Jerry Ritcheson stepped up to receive the 2013 Kendra Kirsch Co-Survivor Awardthere was not a dry eye in the room.
Three years ago Ritcheson helped his daughter battle her breast cancer. When the love of her life walked out on her, Ritcheson provided support and money to help pay for her medical bills for his daughter, which is why she nominated him for this award.
"I am so happy for my daughter," Richetson said before the luncheon began. "She is doing good and she is here at the event with me."
The National Promise of One Award is given each year to the volunteer has made a great impact in raising breast cancer awareness. “In 2002 I started volunteering for Komen by answering phones. By 2004 I joined the education committee and became a lifetime member. Now I am on the advisory board and race committee," National Promise of One Award honoree Claudia Brown said, recouting her volunteer history with Komen. "It is amazing to me where you can do outreach and I love doing it."
The luncheon also marked the kickoff of the 23rd annual Race for the Cure, which will take place Oct. 5 in downtown Houston. This year's theme is "Our City. Our Mission. For Life."