RHA Sponsors Breast Cancer Awareness Event

The Residents Housing Association sponsored a BRA (Breast Reconstruction Awareness) Panel featuring breast cancer survivors, on Tuesday, October 14.

The panelists were Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Service Peggy Ross; Dr. Anne Smithson, Campus Physician; Dr. Matthew Blanton, reconstructive surgeon at Specialists in Plastic Surgery; Julie McQueen from the Susan G. Komen Triangle to the Coast organization; and Director of the Counseling Center Beth Meier.

Ross talked about her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. She said staying positive was her defense against feeling hopeless. She said it not only takes her own positive thinking but family and friends around her were expected to be positive. Smithson told about her breast cancer diagnosis as well and talked about her focus on nutrition once she had this critical illness. She encouraged participants to increase their daily activity and fruit/vegetable intake as measures to lessen their chances of developing cancer.

Dr. Blanton showed a Power Point slide show which described different methods of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Participants were educated regarding options cancer patients have if they choose reconstruction surgery. There is not just one method anymore and procedures can be individualized depending on the patient and their situation.

McQueen spoke about the Susan G. Komen organization started by Nancy Brinker, Susan’s sister. The Susan G. Komen organization raises money to help fund research and provide resources to cancer patients. The largest Race for the Cure event in North Carolina is held on the Meredith College campus each June. A new walk is now offered in Wilmington and will be held on March 7. The Wilmington race is growing and McQueen encouraged the audience to consider supporting it next year.

Meier wrapped up the discussion with giving participants information on grief and how to help someone who is grieving whether from a cancer diagnosis or other medical situation. Acknowledging that everyone has their own way to grieve, one part of that process may be seeking counseling. Meier talked about the services offered for Meredith College students including the 10 a.m. Monday-Wednesday-Friday walk-in hour and 1 p.m. crisis hour available each day. The Ailing Mothers and Fathers (AMF) campus organization information was also provided so that students know they have ways to get support during trying times. 

At the conclusion of the discussion, participants enjoyed a reception which included pink lemonade and pink cupcakes in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

--Submitted by Heidi LeCount, director of residence life

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330