Thank You to Our Sponsors     

Presenting Sponsors:
William & Gloria Paul
Platinum Sponsors:
The Fortin Family
Gold Sponsors:
The Whittingham Family Foundation
Silver Sponsors:
Dr. Alfred Sofer
American Medical Response

 19th Annual  Breast Cancer Luncheon

Friday, October 24, 2014
Holiday Inn, Bridgeport CT

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2014 Breast Cancer Luncheon Slideshow

The 19th Annual St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound’s Breast Cancer Luncheon held at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn drew approximately 350 attendees. The event raised approximately $85,000 to help St. Vincent’s Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Cancer Center provide breast cancer screenings, education, holistic support, and financial assistance to underinsured women in our community.

The Executive Director of the Foundation stated, “Thanks to the money raised, more women will receive support and financial assistance during a time of significant hardship.”

Keynote speaker Geralyn Lucas encouraged women to pay attention to their bodies, take good care of themselves, and to be optimistic.  Lucas, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27, was not a likely candidate for breast cancer, or so she thought.  Paying attention to abnormalities, and getting tested early saved her life.  Now at age 45, Lucas inspires people to take control of their bodies and maintain a positive outlook when facing even the most difficult challenges.  She is the author of two books, “Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy,” and “Then Came Life.”

The Luncheon Committee honored Joan Trefz for her philanthropic spirit and volunteer efforts in support of cancer patients.  Trefz has served on the Breast Cancer Luncheon Committee since its inception.  In addition, she serves on the board of directors of St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation, volunteers for the SWIM Across the Sound activities, and she is the co-chair of St. Vincent’s Seton Gift Shop where she helps select special clothing and items specifically for cancer patients.  In her remarks, Trefz mentioned that she finds fulfillment in working on the Seton Shop.  Quite often, a patient will walk in and find comfort just being able to talk to her.  Patients are less self-conscious because they recognize that the shop caters to people like them who going through the difficulties of cancer.

Special guest Arlene Cummings, a Monroe resident and breast cancer survivor, shared her personal story of cancer’s impact on her and her family and the multi-faceted ways in which the SWIM’s services for cancer patients helped them.  She stated, “St. Vincent’s SWIM helped all of us in so many ways – ways that you just wouldn’t think about,” she said.  “For example, my job requires a lot of computer work.  But, the cancer treatments caused my arms and my fingers to swell so badly, that it was almost impossible to type anything.  The SWIM provided free massage therapy that helped to drain the swelling, and it made all the difference in the world. They continuously asked me how I was doing and what I needed.  My husband had also battled cancer, and our bills piled high.  The SWIM provided financial assistance to lighten our burden during a very difficult time.  The SWIM helped our children deal with complex emotions, including fear of losing their parents. They gave them toys at Christmas.  When I lost my hair, my eyebrows, and my eyelashes, they provided a kit with make-up, a wig, and other items.”

Cummings went on to describe additional ways in which St. Vincent’s Medical Center and the SWIM embraced her and helped her and her family that went far beyond treating the cancer.   “No other hospital does as much as St. Vincent’s does when it comes to helping cancer patients and their families with needs that go beyond medical treatment.  I am so grateful for all they’ve done for us,” she said.

 Proceeds from the Luncheon will be used to fund programs to increase access to mammography and prevention services for women at risk in our community. Screening services are offered through the digital mobile mammography coach as well as the SWIM Across the Sound Women’s Imaging Center. The SWIM also provides wigs, prostheses, medical assistance, free transportation to treatments and appointments, day-care scholarships and support groups and services.

2014 Breast Cancer Luncheon Slideshow

For more information, contact St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation at 203-576-5451.