Phoebe Sumter Medical Center
Marketing/Public Relations Department, Marcus Johnson
Americus, GA (October 19th, 2013) -- Phoebe Sumter set a goal of 1,000 for its 10th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, and the people of Southwest Georgia responded in a big way.
More than 1,000 people descended upon Lenny’s Farmer’s Market in downtown Americus in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, making this the largest walk in the event’s 10 year history.
“We asked the people of Americus, Sumter County and Southwest Georgia to come out and they did just that,” said Marcus Johnson, Phoebe Sumter’s Director of Marketing & Public Relations. “We even had people from Atlanta and other parts of Georgia, and I think it sent a strong message that we intend to continue to support our breast cancer survivors and their families and will continue to walk until a cure is found.”
The event began with a welcome by Phoebe Sumter Interim CEO Laurie Hair and a prayer by hospital chaplain Wendy Joyner-Peacock. Keynote speaker Kristin T. Collier, MD (General Surgery) spoke to the crowd about the importance of self-exams and mammograms, and encouraged those in attendance to pay close attention to their bodies because early detection could save lives. Also on hand was TV and radio personality Ebony Steele, best known for co-host role on the syndicated Rickey Smiley Radio Morning Show. Steele, a breast cancer survivor, told her story about how she was diagnosed and wanted to encourage everyone to keep fighting and to help those who are going through the struggle with breast cancer.
The walkers had their choice of three routes (3 miles, 2 miles and 1 mile) through downtown Americus, creating a wave of pink as far as the eye could see.
“We started this walk 10 years ago as a way to bring attention to breast cancer, which affects 1 out of 8 women in America and kills more than 40,000 women each year,” said Johnson. “We want women, and men, to be aware of their bodies and if they feel anything is wrong to go to their physician and get it checked out. One day, we hope to not have to do this walk, but as long as breast cancer is among us we will be out here in support of the survivors and their families, as well remember those who lost their fight to this awful disease.”
Johnson said that this event would not have been possible without the support of the local organizations and volunteers.
“I can’t name everyone here, but I want to thank Phoebe Putney Health System, Sumter County Sheriff Department, the Americus Police & Fire Department, Southland Academy Junior Varsity cheerleaders and everyone else who volunteers their time to make this event happen,” said Johnson. “People hear my name all the time, but it takes hundreds of people to make an event of this magnitude work, and we appreciate the support. We have some new wrinkles for 2014, so we look forward to another successful walk next year.”
For more information on mammograms and overall breast health, please call (229) 924-6011.