Igniting the Spirit of Pink

Brandie Richardson and Leslie D. Rose
Tina Levy. Photo by Leslie D. Rose

About one in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, according to BreastCancer.org. For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.

     In Ascension Parish, like most places, women who beat the odds are celebrated. And that's just what happened at St. Elizabeth Hospital on Oct. 2, with the hosting of its annual breast cancer survivor celebration, Igniting the Spirit of Pink. 

     Community members, physicians, staff and numerous cancer survivors attended the celebration. An inspirational song, “I Give You Jesus,” was sung by EPIC Director, Tina Levy, followed by an awareness informational from Susan G. Komen Executive Director, Angela Miller.

     Breast cancer survivor, Kari Millet, told of her journey through cancer – a struggle that began for her at age 33. 

     “It was kind of a whirlwind,” Millet said. “It took me a little while to kind of understand what was going on.

     Losing both breasts, hair, eyebrows and your finger nails, pretty much everything that makes you a woman, at the age of 33, was a little devastating at first. Luckily, I found great support in other survivors, other woman who had been through what I was going through.”

     Pins and shirts were given out to the survivors and a moment of silence was taken to honor those fighting the battle, and those who have passed away.

     Across the Parish, similar celebrations will take place.

     Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez announced this week that the Parish of Ascension Recreation and Culture Department (PARC), along with the River Road African American Museum and the Ascension Parish Breast Cancer Awareness Committee, will host activities acknowledging October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

     On Oct. 10, Ascension Parish Committee will walk with American Cancer Society in New Orleans. Anyone interested in joining the team or making donations may visit MakingStrides.ASCEvents.org, enter Ascension Parish under the 'find a team' tab. 

     Read more of Millet’s journey and other stories of survival in our Oct. 22 issue, Paint it Pink, where a calendar of awareness and survivor events will also be listed.