Pink strides: PRC Hospital hosting awareness event
Breast cancer awareness month is coming to a close, but before it does, the city of Poplarville will once again become tinted with the color pink.
The Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home will be hosting its second annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and health fair on Saturday, Oct. 25.
The event is being coordinated by the hospital’s staff development and community outreach groups, nurse educator Jo Lynn Davis said.
Michelle Hamann is a manager in training with the hospital’s Healthcare Services Group and has been cancer free for 11 years.
“In 2001, I was going through a divorce and lost a lot of weight,” Hamann said. “One night, when I was bathing, I felt the lump in my breast. I wouldn’t have found the lump had it not been for the weight loss.”
Hamann was 32-years-old at the time and had no family history of the disease. She had a lumpectomy on December 4, 2001 and a full mastectomy and reconstructive surgery on December 27.
In February 2002, Hamann underwent five rounds of chemotherapy and doctors considered her cancer free in 2003.
“It was a shock, I was so young,” Hamann said. “The hardest part for me was losing my hair. My son, who was seven-years-old at the time, shaved his head to support me.”
Hamann visits her oncologist twice a year and has a mammogram conducted once a year.
Hamann said it’s very important for women to perform self-examinations, even if there’s not a family history of cancer.
“I recommend that all survivors and those going through cancer talk about it and attend support groups,” Hamann said. “It helps to talk to someone else that is going through the same thing. It’s a hard road you got to travel.”
Hamann said she got through her ordeal with the support and prayers from family and friends.
“I thank God I survived it,” Hamann said. “I kept thinking about my seven-year-old son and that kept me going. I think it’s wonderful to see how much people do to raise awareness for breast cancer.”
Leslie Domstead is the culinary director for Valley Services and oversees the culinary unit at the hospital.
Domstead organized a Bake your Buns Off competition on Thursday, hospital staff baked an assortment of sweet treats to be judged by local law enforcement, school staff and county officials. The food was auctioned off and the proceeds were donated to breast cancer research.
Domstead’s mother and sister are also breast cancer survivors so raising awareness and finding a cure for breast cancer is a cause that’s near and dear to her heart.
“I’m walking for my family,” Domstead said. “I also get a yearly mammogram. Being a chef, I was able to help my mother after chemotherapy by getting the nutrients back into her body.”
The walk and health fair will begin at 8 a.m. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and costs $25 per participant, which includes an event t-shirt. T-shirts will also be sold throughout the event for $15.
The health fair will include a number of health related booths including screening for blood pressure, BMI, hearing and vision. The fair will also offer developmental screening for children aged birth to 36 months, Alzheimer’s and dyslexia information, information about the hospital’s services and other health related booths.
There will also be arts and crafts booth, retail vendors and fun-filled activities including trick-or-treating, a fun jump, pumpkin painting, cake walk, face painting and a Halloween costume contest for all ages.
“All proceeds from our walk will be donated to the American Cancer Society,” Davis said. “We want to bring awareness to the importance of early detection and raise money for the men and women facing breast cancer.”
“Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home is very pleased to be hosting this event again,” Hospital administrator Steve Vaughn said. “We are looking forward to everyone joining us here at the hospital’s campus next Saturday.”
The event will end with closing ceremonies at noon. The guest speakers are breast cancer survivors.
To register for the event contact Davis at 601-240-2046.
The deadline for health officials and vendors booth registration is Friday, Oct. 24.
Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home is located at 305 W. Moody St.
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