Survivor urges annual mammograms; Mayors Brittain & Chesney issue joint proclamation at inaugural Think Pink event
Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System and the community were thinking pink during a special ceremony held at the facility on Thursday, Oct. 10 to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Over 100 people gathered at the Morristown Regional Cancer Center to celebrate survivors, honor those fighting the disease and remembering those who have lost their battles.
Continuing in Morristown-Hamblen’s role of advocating for health in the community, Thinking Pink means spreading the message of awareness to put an emphasis on screening and early detection. Thursday’s ceremony was the inaugural Think Pink event hosted by MHHS.
“The great news is we are making progress in the fight against breast cancer,” MHHS President and Chief Administrative Officer Gordon Lintz said. “The keys to success are awareness, screening and early detection. That’s how we will beat breast cancer.
“Each and everyone of you here today shows that you are on the front lines of fighting breast cancer with us.”
MHHS Director of Imaging Emily Blomenberg issued a challenge to everyone in attendance to make sure their loved ones are screened annually.
“Think Pink means awareness and raising awareness in the community, but it is also a call to action and that’s what you all get to do when you leave here,” Blomenberg said. “Everyone has a job to ask your mom, your wife, your grandmother, your aunt or your daughter if they have had their mammogram.
“Those are the people you care about and as a result, this Think Pink is a call to action about the people you care about.”
Breast Cancer survivor Marcella Marcum also told those gathered at the event that the care she received from the physicians and staff at Morristown-Hamblen were second to none and allowed her to receive the treatment less than 10 minutes from her home.
That close proximity allowed her friends and family to be a strong support group for her during her treatment. She said 11 members showed up with her at her appointment for her mammogram and nine showed up at her biopsy appointment.
“My family was with me every step of the way,” she said. “They could be here in 10 minutes. I could come out (of treatment) with a smile on my face because they were there for me. It was phenomenal to have such a support system.”
Marcum also stressed and emphasized the importance of receiving regular mammograms. She was diagnosed on Nov. 9, 2018, but during a mammogram just two years before, she received a clean bill of health.
“My biggest thing I want to stress if talk to your aunts, uncles, mothers, daughters and have them get their mammogram done,” Marcum said. “I had a mammogram two years before that, and I am a walking, talking textbook example to have that mammogram done.
“There was nothing there, then there was something.”
Marcum underwent surgery by Dr. Tom Thompson and she finished her treatment at the Morristown Regional Cancer Center on June 28, 2019 and rang the bell at the center to signify the end of her treatment. Ironically, just moments before Marcum addressed the crowd, another survivor rang the bell in the cancer center to celebrate the end of their cancer treatments.
Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain and City of Morristown Mayor Gary Chesney also issued a joint proclamation at the event, declaring October as Breast Cancer Awareness month in both the city and county.
“I think it’s evident that fighting breast cancer is a team effort,” Brittain said. “Mayor Chesney and I are your biggest cheerleaders and that’s why we are here today.”