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Fox Chase Cancer Center Hosts a Day of Pampering for Women Living in Transitional Housing

PHILADELPHIA (April 22, 2009) – Fox Chase Cancer Center invited local women and their children living in transitional housing to a “Celebration of Women” special event this past Saturday, April 18. The women joined Fox Chase staff and volunteers to learn more about conquering domestic violence, as well as the importance of cancer screening and prevention. Topping off the day was an afternoon of pampering. Participants left with a goody bag that including gently used clothing and accessories.

"I created the Celebration of Women to provide an outlet to show the community we are caring neighbors.  Perhaps more so to give women and children living in transitional housing a day filled with pampering, gifts and posting health style information," says Linda Torres-Hammell, director, cancer screening at Fox Chase, who was responsible for organizing the program. NBC10 news reporter Lori Wilson was on hand to introduce keynote speaker, L.Y. Marlow, author of “Color Me Butterfly” — a book that was inspired by her true story about four generations of mothers and daughters who endured physical and emotional abuse.  In her book, Marlow chose to focus on survival rather than victimization.

“My book is written for women who need the courage to transform their lives, as I did,” Marlow says. “If I can touch one of the women here today, then my job is done. My story is their story.” Marlow believes that domestic violence has been silenced long enough. Through her national speaking engagements, Marlow has inspired many women to face violence in their lives and put an end to it. A signed copy of the book was given to all attendees.

In addition to hearing Marlow speak, women attending this event were invited to participate in a panel discussion on cancer screening and prevention — “Be Aware, Avoid a Cancer Scare”.  Doug Henderson of WDAS-FM moderated this panel, which was made up of Fox Chase nurse educators, Carol Cherry, Ginny Martin and Sharon Schwartz.  Also on the panel were Kim LeMaitre of the Pennsylvania Cancer Education Network and Denise Lantz, nutrition counselor for Attentive Health.

“Our experts at Fox Chase are here to share information designed to empower women to take control of their health,” explains Joanne Hambleton, RN, MSN, vice president for nursing and patient services at Fox Chase and cancer survivor.  “Screening practices save lives,” Hambleton added. “One of the most significant improvements in cancer survivorship is early detection, which has resulted in an increase in survival rates.”

Education was not the only thing these women received at this event. They also enjoyed a nutritious lunch with raffle prizes, pampering with massages, make-up artists and a “free shopping trip” of gently used clothing, handbags, shoes and jewelry, donated by Fox Chase employees.  Breast cancer survivor and owner of Hair Apropos salon and day spa, Ginny LaMaina, and her daughter, Jenna, volunteered their services performing mini makeovers, with the help of cosmetology students from Jean Madeline Aveda Institute.  

Creative Beginnings, Fox Chase’s early childhood education program, also arranged a day full of activities for the women’s children including outdoor games, crafts, lunch, movies and more.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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