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On Friday, Oct. 19, Nyack Hospital’s Breast Center hosted for the second year a “Blow Away Breast Cancer” rally to promote breast health awareness and raise money to provide services to underserved women in Rockland County.
This year the Blow Away Breast Cancer event had a new twist - “The Bakers Battle” where local bakeries will participate by creating a “pinwheel” inspired dessert. The Mayor of Nyack, Jen Laird-White emceed the event and everyone who attends will have an opportunity to taste the delicious desserts.
"I am the daughter of a breast cancer survivor and the friend of many women who have faced down this dreaded disease," said Laird-White. "I have watched my laughing mother turn ashen faced and serious, my terrified dad by her side, some 30 years ago as she told her teenaged children that her lovely life was being turned upside down by some nasty random luck of the draw that had knocked on our door. Breast cancer is a horrible disease, but we ... need to support those at the frontlines."
Pinwheels were also available at the rally so that people could ‘plant’ them in recognition of someone who has battled breast cancer.
Participating bakeries include At Your Service Catering, Flour Buds, Luminesque, Gypsy Donut, Aunt Mia’s Sweets, Patisserie Didier Dumas, The Pie Lady and Son, Cookie Girl and Auntie Els. Old World Market will also participate by offering pinwheels in exchange for donations at checkout. The funds raised will go directly to provide breast care services to underserved women in Rockland County including clinical breast exams, digital mammography screenings, support, education and treatment
At the rally, Patricia Joseph, MD, Director, Breast and Women’s Health Prevention Services at Nyack Hospital, will speak about the importance of early detection, how women can protect themselves from the disease, and how Nyack Hospital can help.
"Events such as Blow Away Breast Cancer (BABC) are essential to raise awareness and funds to screen the medically underserved in our community," said Joseph. "Poor women get mammograms at a rate two thirds that of middle/high income women, and are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, which is harder to treat, and they are less likely to receive standard care. Across all racial and ethnic groups, women who are the poorest have shorter survival rates after a cancer diagnosis. Thanks to events such as this, and by working in collaboration with the Cancer Services Program of the Hudson Valley Region, we are making a difference."
Other participating events include the Union Restaurant ‘Dine for Blow Away Breast Cancer’ and the 5K Run for Blow Away Breast Cancer. More information on all events supporting the Blow Away Breast Cancer campaign can be found online at www.blowawaybreastcancer.org
At last year’s event, more than 400 pink pinwheels were planted representing loved ones who had been lost to breast cancer, someone who was currently battling the disease, or a breast cancer survivor; over 1,000 pinwheels were displayed at area locations and more than $5,000 was raised helping 60 underinsured women. This year the fundraising goal is $10,000.
From 2005 – 2009, Rockland County saw a total of 1,195 diagnosed cases of breast cancer with 12 of the 25 zip code areas coming in at 15 – 49% higher numbers than expected according to the New York State Department of Health. And according to data posted on RocklandCancerInfo.com, approximately 30 women die each year in Rockland County from breast cancer.
Nyack Hospital’s decision to create a comprehensive breast center was in response to the community’s needs with a focus on breast cancer because of the alarming breast cancer rates in the county. The Breast Center evolved in phases, because of the financial constraints of the community hospital. The first phase involved the development of state-of-the-art breast imaging, which resulted in the drop of the breast cancer incidence rate from 131.1 to 124.0 per 100,000 women in 2007. That year, the Center expanded its services and recruited a dedicated breast surgeon.
The Breast Center provides a full range of screening and diagnostic services. There is also a breast health navigator who helps guide newly diagnosed breast cancer patients through the diagnostic, treatment, support, and education process. The Hospital is located at 160 North Midland Avenue in Nyack. For more information visit www.blowawaybreastcancer.org.