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October 3, 2009
By MARYELLEN FILLO
Gail Lane of East Hartford was celebrating Thursday night with her sister Karen O'Connell and girlfriend Karen Etheridge. The reason? It has been nearly a year since she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, and there was no better place to mark her recovery than at Hartford Hospital's 5th annual Partnership for Breast Care "Pink Flamingos" fundraiser.
"They say you don't celebrate until one year after your treatment, which would mean March for me," said Lane, who was part of the crowd at the event, which helps mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month. "But on Oct. 20, it will be one year since I was diagnosed, and for me, it is a reason to celebrate."
There were the signature pink hats, drinks, ribbons, outfits and lipstick on most at the partygoers at the fundraiser, which benefits the organization and its mobile mammography unit. The crowd included a mix of survivors, medical staffers, friends and some newly diagnosed individuals who were looking for more than a good time out.
"I am the classic 'I never thought this could happen to me' person," said Meg Woods flamingo_opt.jpgof Farmington, who was recently diagnosed. "I heard about this event through staff at my doctor's office and just wanted to be with people who have been through what I am facing. I want to know there are others who went through treatment and that there is light at the end of tunnel."
For Marilyn Monaco, there was not only light but also an annual party to celebrate her survival -- twice.
"I was diagnosed in 1993 and went through treatment, and nine years later diagnosed again and was treated again," said Monaco. But it was family and friends who got her through, she said, including BFF Marcia Olsson.
Olsson works at Hartford Hospital and several years ago, to mark Monaco's successful fight, organized a springtime "Daffodil Party" to not only celebrate her friend's survival but to also raise money for the breast care partnership.
"I was shocked," said Monaco of Olsson's annual event, which attracts a crowd and donations for the cause. "What a friend she is."
| |Team Towanda Foundation supports
Pink Flamingos and the Partnership for Breast Care