Glimmer of Hope Impacts Innovations in Breast Cancer Diagnosis

northern connection bid for hope

By Rosemary Garrity

For the past several years, Glimmer of Hope Foundation has become a much more recognized organization because of its continued support in the area of breast cancer research and treatment.  Most recently, the foundation has earmarked funds to purchase state of the art 3D equipment to detect breast cancer in women.  In the past, doctors have relied on mammograms, but this new equipment is far more sophisticated.  With a regular mammogram, about two images are taken from the top and the side. However, with this 3D mammography, 11 images are taken and compiled into a series of high resolution slices that can be examined individually. This new technology decreases the number of images to four, therefore, women have a reduced radiation exposure. This innovative technology will be introduced into many breast cancer centers throughout the country, but through the funding that Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC has received from Glimmer, Magee will purchase three units to be used in Oakland, Monroeville, and St. Margaret’s. Women in the Pittsburgh area are fortunate to have this cutting edge technology available.

The need for a cure is obvious. Getting the necessary funds to support the fight is a year round effort. This grass roots organization has been able to achieve success through the help of many dedicated people who perform both on and off the field to help Diana Napper, founder of the organization.

In October of 2001, Alan Faneca, a former Steeler, and his wife Julie, approached Diana Napper about hosting an event to benefit breast cancer research.  It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and true commitment to finding a cure. Fast forward to 2015 and Steeler great, tight end Heath Miller and his wife Katie, have continued to carry the ball forward, with the support of the Steelers organization. To date, Glimmer has raised over two million dollars, some of which has been used to create a center for premenopausal breast cancer patients and the purchase of innovative mammography software. In addition, Glimmer has funded Nurse navigators and genetic counseling at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. In order to fund these projects, a variety of events are held throughout the year. For more information about purchasing tickets for the Bid for Hope event, visit symbolofthecure.com.

For several years, the Oxford Athletic Club has held a Zumba fundraiser in October. According to Jackie Frederick, Fitness Director, “This year we plan on having various classes each week during the month of October dedicated to these fundraising efforts and are seeking free will donations from anyone attending the designated class”.

The largest fundraiser each year is Bid for Hope. This year, it will be Bid for Hope XIV, and with the help of a small group of volunteers, this event will be held on Monday, November 2, at the chic Off the Hook restaurant, located right off the Warrendale exit. Once again, several Steelers players will be on hand to autograph footballs which are in the gift bags that are given to attendees. Bob Pompeani will serve as MC and auctioneer. Attendees will be able to bid on some spectacular baskets and sports memorabilia as they enjoy the delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts available at the food stations the Off the Hook staff has prepared. Heath Miller, Glimmer spokesperson, and his lovely wife Katie will host the event, once again. Lisa and Glen Hawley, owners of Off the Hook, are delighted to be involved and are pleased that guests will see the expanded space now available.

It is a sad commentary, but it seems that everyone knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. That is one of the reasons that Diana Napper is so dedicated to finding a cure for this disease. “For the past few years, we have been able to fund several innovative and much needed services for women who have been diagnosed.  We will continue our efforts until a cure has been found.”

Upcoming Events

Rue21: National campaign for breast cancer awareness starting October 1.

Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh “Lemons for Hope” campaign.

“Painting It Forward in the Fight Against Breast Cancer,” October 22, Pinots Palette, 3451 Butler Street, Lawrenceville, PA 15201

Diehl Automotive:  A donation from the sale of every car in the month of October

“Zumba for Hope,” October 24, Oxford Athletic Club, Wexford