Saturday, October 11, 2008

Keep It Local! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

That's right - keep it local! While I appreciate the impact of what a larger non-profit can do for the cure of breast cancer and assist in spreading education, the strings of my heart really get tugged when I hear there are dollars being raised for this cause that will actually stay in Walla Walla. When I heard that Isenhower Cellars was directly sponsoring a fundraiser with the proceeds going to St. Mary's Cancer Center, it definitely peeked my interest.

Last year Denise Isenhower's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Denise, along with her two small daughters, Keegan (16 months) and Olivia (3 1/2 years), made three flights on the "red-eye" back to Indianna to help Denise's Mom after the chemo treatments. Denise was also pregnant at the time and during one of the trips, while waiting at the Chicago airport to catch a flight, Denise thought she was having a miscarriage and had to be rushed to the nearest hospital. In the mean time, the good news is Denise's mother is a survivor of breast cancer and in March, after many weeks of bed rest and pre-term labor, Denise delivered daughter Eliana.

As Denise says, "Everyone knows someone who has battled cancer." Denise and even her daughters have had more than their share, as Denise's sister also had two different experiences of skin cancer this past year. The impression of this disease was even left on small Olivia who told many people during their travels "they were going to go help Nana with her chemo because she has cancer." Of course, it was Denise who experienced the looks of sadness from these stranger's faces. Olivia even experienced the hairdresser shaving her "Nana's" head. Olivia liked rubbing her Nana's shaved head and watching Nana trying on the different wigs - - very bittersweet moments.

During this time, Denise was walking with Beth Swanson and other member's of the Mom's Network of Walla Walla on Saturday mornings. From these walks inspiration came to have a Cancer Walk and to sell some "pink." The Second Annual Cancer Walk will take place Saturday, October 25 and many thanks to Isenhower Cellars for sponsoring very pink and very cute caps for $19.50! These caps are the excellent Port Authority brand with the Isenhower logo on the side and an embroidered pink ribbon on the front.

Here is what I like so much about this pink cap fund raiser: for every pink cap sold, $10 will go directly to the St. Mary’s Breast Community Center in Walla Walla for their "Special Needs Fund." This is an "at need" non-judgmental, no paper work required funding for patients. An "at need" example could be a new bra, body lotion or lip balm, or even a taxi-ride home from the hospital - - the kind of needs that many of us take for granted. What's even more important about these proceeds - - all of the money will go directly to cancer patients and not to administrative costs as needed by some of the larger non-profits.

For more information on the Second Annual Mom's Network Breast Cancer Walk, please contact Beth Swanson. Hats may be purchased from Beth, Isenhower Cellars or Me. I will also have the hats available at Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman Wednesday, October 15 from 5:30-7:00 pm. Please also contact me about that event for more information.

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