In recognition of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, two local sisters are hosting an “I Won” event to celebrate their battles and recent victories.
Here’s a little of their story:
“My sister (Carol Landon Ford) and I are breast cancer survivors,” Christie (Landon) Hickman wrote.
“Carol finished her treatment last year and I finished on July 25.… We are hosting a breast cancer event (this week) with 30 of our close friends to celebrate our win against breast cancer and share the importance of breast health.” Christie, 54, and Carol, 51, both reside in Ellet a street apart.
“We both had amazing, life-changing experiences during our journeys through breast cancer and met the most compassionate people,” Christie continued. “We created an organization — In This Together, Breast Cancer Support — to help others going through breast cancer treatment. We offer handmade ‘hug blankets’ to patients and The Giving Doll to the children of patients. Jan Householder is providing us with the dolls made with pink hair and shoes!”
The simply amazing Householder, of Wadsworth, is the founder of The Giving Doll Ministry, which gives volunteer-made soft-sculpture dolls to children suffering major medical problems, abuse, neglect or loss of a parent, or who have a military parent stationed in harm’s way.
Both were treated at Akron General Medical Center’s McDowell Cancer Center and had Dr. Esther Remus as their oncologist and Dr. Jennifer Partin as their surgeon. Carol and Christie breathed a giant sigh of relief a couple of weeks ago when their mother underwent a successful breast procedure.
Christie, who is so passionate about her project, shared that she has been “adding names of those touched by cancer that you have mentioned in your column on our ribbon. I update this ribbon with new names on a weekly basis. People can request first names of fighters, survivors or the taken to be added by contacting us.” The virtual ribbon is located on the organization’s website at www.inthistogetherbcs.org.
Breast Oasis — the Akron-based nonprofit founded by Dr. John Pedersen of Akron Plastic Surgeons — continues to collect, clean and distribute new and gently used bras to low-income women. Pedersen came up with the idea after learning that many of his breast surgery patients were throwing away perfectly good bras following their procedures.
Heather DeBoer, spokeswoman for Breast Oasis, recently reminded me of the extent of its good works through its 21 affiliates in 13 states.
Consider these interesting tidbits from www.breastoasis.org:
• Following donation via one of the organization’s drop boxes or website, the bras are collected, inspected, laundered, packaged into gift bags and distributed to women in need.
• Donations are identified with a unique bar identification number or BIN. This number allows the women to anonymously provide words of encouragement for eventual recipients at www.breastoasis.org. The recipient can use the same number to respond to the donor, so the women can connect with and support each other.
• Breast Oasis has collected more than 110,000 bras and provided donations to the Boys and Girls Club of Akron, Harvest Home, Barberton Free Clinic, Rahab House, Project Homeless Connect at The Chapel in Akron, Safe Landing Youth Shelter and the Battered Women’s Shelter, Laura’s Home City Mission in Cleveland as well as Children of the Night in Los Angeles and the Center Against Domestic Violence in New York City and more.
• Breast Oasis has developed a health initiative it shares with the women during bra deliveries, reaching many women who do not have access to breast health care.
So, please consider donating a gently used bra to Breast Oasis. Find locations at the website.
Power of a Dream, Sisters Helping Sisters Ministries is sponsoring a free domestic violence workshop 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday in partnership with Livingstone Baptist Church, which is also the location of the event, 288 Harter St., Barberton. There will be a light lunch and freewill offering.
Panelists include the church’s pastor, Paul Watson; David Siko, Summit County probation officer; Mona Golden, author of It’s Not Sarah’s Fault (about a young girl who was sexually abused and survived), a representative from Battered Women’s Shelter; and Gregory Head, founder of MBS Martial Arts/Self-Defense Techniques. Testimonials will come from domestic abuse victims Barbara Watkins and Carla Mundy and former child abuse victim Brian Ames. Brenda Justice is founding president of Power of a Dream.
Champagne and Candles
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Eta Tau Lambda chapter, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Zeta Theta Omega chapter, will host their second annual Champagne and Candles gala fundraiser 8 p.m. Oct. 26 at St. Thomas Banquet Hall, 555 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road. Semi-formal black attire is requested. Entertainment is by DJ EZ Money.
Champagne hour will be followed by a sit-down dinner. Tickets are $35, available from Mack Stephens at 330-322-3112, Starlett Mitchell at 330-634-7347 or at email@example.com.
Staci Freeman, co-chairman of the event, said 25 percent of the proceeds will be given to two local nonprofits: Brother to Brother for prostate cancer awareness, and Project Ed Bear for providing comfort to pediatric patients in Northeast Ohio.
Spreading the word
Missy Stillion, intervention specialist with Green Local Schools, is doing her best to get the word out about October being Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
Peggy K. Mollohan, her assistant, said Stillion is so supportive of two students with Down syndrome — a genetic disorder characterized by physical growth delays, certain facial features and varying degrees of intellectual disabilities — that she’s wearing a special T-shirt every Friday this month.
“I was interested, and when I asked more about it, she said the shirt simply has the numerals 3:21 to signify the extra 21st chromosome that people with Down syndrome have,” Mollohan wrote. “I loved the idea and two of my co-workers and I purchased the shirts to wear on Fridays to show support for our two friends who are truly loved so much! … Mrs. Stillion loves her students and they know it, and she makes the world a better place for her students each day!”
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org