The Star
Monday, 7 October 2013

Positive in pink for a good cause

MORNING of good food and fellowship —that’s what the 5th Luscious Ladies Day in Shades of Pink fundraiser is all about.

The crowd of 300, consisting of cancer survivors and their supporters, mostly dressed in pink, savoured a sumptuous breakfast buffet and mingled freely at the event held at the ballroom at the Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Penang.

Bundles of raffle tickets were sold while generous bids flowed in for the live and silent auctions featuring items like jewellery sets, luxury handbags, hotel stay and meal vouchers as well as art pieces.

While many bidders obtained their desired items, the biggest winners of the day were Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital and Rumah Hospice Penang – the beneficiaries of the proceeds from the event on Friday.

Charity Auction: Guests checking out the items to go under the hammer during the Luscious Ladies Day in Shades of Pink event at E&O Hotel.

The hospital’s chief executive officer Tham Wei Wei said the funds would be used to offset the purchase of a RM13.5mil Tomo-Therapy machine which irradiates tumours with better accuracy.

“It spares healthy tissue, and gives patients a better quality of life,” said Tham.

The event, jointly organised by the Penang Irish Association (PIA), Food Friends Penang, Amee Philips Exclusive Jewellery and E&O Hotel, was also aimed at raising awareness on breast cancer.

It also highlighted the importance of early detection and treatment, while its theme ‘You Are Not Alone!’ emphasised the benefits of having a support network for patients and their families.

American expatriate Jennifer Hartner, 31, gave the crowd an insight into her personal experiences during a poignant sharing session.

She was just 10 years old when her mother, then 32, was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer.

After treatment, her mother went into remission, but a decade later, the cancer returned.

“She was terminally ill, and within four months, she lost her battle,” said Hartner.

“It was the scariest experience anyone could endure.

“Since then, I’ve had yearly mammograms and several years ago, I found out I had the BRCA gene, which carries a high risk of me developing breast cancer.

“I considered my options and decided to have a preventive double mastectomy.

“It did not pain me, because I did something that could potentially save my life, and ensure I’ll be around for my husband and children.

“And I don’t feel any less of a woman,” she said, urging women of all ages to go for regular checks and talk to their doctors.

United: Everyone holding hands while singing 'You Are Not Alone'l.

PIA president Maggie Territt, herself a cancer survivor, later raised a toast to living life to the fullest.

She reinforced the importance of early detection for those with a family history of breast cancer or at high risk of developing the disease.

The event, now in its fifth edition, also featured a James Bond and Shirley Bassey impersonation skit.

Solidarity reigned as the guests joined hands and sang to Michael Jackson’s ‘You Are Not Alone’.

Food and Friendship : Guests helping themselves to the breakfast buffet..

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