Specialty Care for Special Women


                          By Rosemary Garrity

Each year we are reminded that October is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are a plethora of events, fundraisers and media coverage focusing on this dreadful disease. It continues to be a huge problem and is the most common cancer that women may have to face, other than skin cancer, and is the leading cause of death in women of reproductive age. According to Diana Napper, founder of Glimmer, “The incidence of breast cancer in women under forty is increasing.  I feel that we need to be more proactive in this area. Also, we are advocating for new drugs for metastatic disease.  This is our priority for the upcoming year.”

The Glimmer of Hope Foundation has made a major impact in the Pittsburgh area by funding breast cancer projects in area hospitals including Allegheny Health Network, Hillman Cancer Center and Magee Women’s Research Institute. There are now many more services and better equipment available so that women have a better chance of fighting this disease. At Magee, a Breast Cancer Specialty Clinic was created with funding from Glimmer. This Center makes it possible for women to schedule appointments with various doctors and counselors on the same day at this site, …a real one stop shopping experience for women who have limited time. Donations to Glimmer   also helped to fund the purchase of a SenoClaire tomosynthesis (3-D) machine at the Wexford Health and Wellness Pavilion in Wexford. In addition, there is a designated place at the site for women to receive a massage or have acupuncture done which helps alleviate the effects of chemo.

Of course, purchasing new equipment, supporting research projects and providing innovative services all require funding. The largest fundraiser for Glimmer is the annual Bid for Hope event. This year, Glimmer will host the Fifteenth Bid for Hope on October 24, at Off the Hook restaurant, near the Warrendale exit.  As usual, many of the Steelers will be present and will sign footballs that are provided for each guest. There will be many unique baskets and a myriad of auction items and sports memorabilia available for bidding. This year, an autographed Mohammed Ali boxing glove will attract many sports aficionados! And let’s not forget the food!  Lisa and Craig Hawley, owners of Off the Hook, provide guests with sumptuous seafood and heavy hors d’oeuvres arranged at various stations throughout the restaurant.  Last year’s attendees had high praise for the food!

Other events that have supported Glimmer projects through the year are also very important. Each October, the Oxford Athletic Club schedules a day when their Zumba instructors encourage their participants to donate to the foundation. Breast cancer survivors often address the class and it has a real impact on the women.  According to Jackie Frederick, the Fitness and Wellness Director of the club, “Oxford Athletic Club and Glimmer of Hope Foundation have had a long-standing relationship for many years.  We are honored to help raise funds each year for this amazing organization.”

A few other unique events have been very successful. John D’Amico, Promotions Manager, Y108-WDSY & 100.7 Star-WBZZ states, “We are very proud of our partnership with Glimmer of Hope and for the opportunity to help the organization in the battle against breast cancer. Our stations at CBS radio have partnered with the organization on many great events, such as Y108’

S Girls with Guitars and 100.7 Star’s Handbag Happy Hour”.  The next handbag event will take place on September 29, from 6pm-9pm at the Fox Chapel Walnut Grill.  For several years, Home Depot sponsors  “Clays for the Cure” at Seven Springs.  They have their regional employees attend a meeting, and the next day they participate at the shoot with all proceeds donated to Glimmer.  Each event and donation help support women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. More information can be obtained at symbolofthecure.com.