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Ladies' night out also a chance to learn about breast cancer
After surviving breast cancer, Sharon Deemar felt she deserved to have a little bit of light-hearted fun. She crowned herself with a sparkling pink tiara, wrapped herself with a pink feather boa and posed for photos at the Bridget's Gift photo booth.
The booth was part of Mammos and ManiCURES, a fun evening of free manicures, massages, food and mammograms hosted by Yuma Regional Medical Center and Bridget's Gift.
The event highlighted the importance of preventing breast cancer through annual mammograms for women over 40.
It was through her annual mammogram that doctor's found Deemar's cancer in December 2010.
“It was so very tiny. I never felt a tumor,” explained the winter visitor from southern Oregon.
Now cancer-free, Deemars never misses her annual mammogram and recommends it to all her friends.
That's what the event was all about, said Clarissa DeCarlo, YRMC community relations specialist.
“We wanted the theme to be ladies night out. We wanted to bring a sense of feeling it's OK to talk about women's health in the open. Sometimes women feel they shouldn't talk about it,” she said.
“Our main purpose is awareness of women's health and breast cancer, to educate the community and make them aware of the services we have here,” DeCarlo added.
Organizers focused on bringing awareness of breast cancer prevention without using fear. Rather, they shared the message through pampering and fun activities, such as cooking demonstrations by Executive Chef Alex Trujillo, a candy bar, culinary treats such as bacon-wrapped dates, fruity drinks and health screenings for blood pressure and bone density.
It would have made Bridget Martinez proud, said Lolly Neahr, Martinez's cousin and chairman of Bridget's Gift, a homegrown breast cancer foundation named after Martinez, who died of breast cancer at the age of 39 in 2011.
“She would have been ecstatic. This was her dream, to be able to educate everyone. In home hospice, she asked us to carry out her dream. She wanted to help everyone, even when she was not feeling well,” Neahr said.
“She especially wanted to help women who were underinsured or uninsured. She had a lot of friends who were able to help her, and she wanted to return the favor.”
Guests were invited to “Ask the Experts,” which included doctors Candice Jenson, Dania Sweidan and Alejandrina Orpineda. They also perused booths with information on the American Cancer Society Cancer Resource Center, Foundation of Yuma Regional Medical Center, Women's Health Specialists and YRMC's Bariatric Surgery, Cancer Center, Diabetes and Nutrition, Heart Center, Imaging Center and Women Surgical Services.
Attendees also had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Kristina Diaz talk about the importance of mammograms and pap smears. Twila Dozier, 41, a YRMC nurse and single mom of two, was especially appreciative of Diaz. The doctor found a lump in her breast during an wellness exam last year.
Diaz got Dozier right in for a mammogram and a biopsy, which confirmed the cancer. Doctors removed the cancer with a lumpectomy, followed by radiation and oral chemotherapy.
Oncologists Gregory Yang, Timothy Galang and Brenda Carroll Guests also discussed the latest advancements and treatments in cancer care.
The evening ended with a touching tribute to retiring physician Connie Uribe, who joined YRMC in 1980. Colleagues and staff shared their recollections, heaped the doctor with praised and presented her with plaques, flowers and gifts.
“She has contributed hundreds and hundreds of hours towards the health and wellbeing of women in this community,” said Camie Overton, Yuma Regional Medical Center's new vice president of clinical service lines.
Uribe thanked everyone for their support through the years and this special night.
“I'm so grateful for the many who showed up. Hasn't this been fun?”