OLEAN – Breast cancer survivors and representatives of the Susan G. Komen Western New York Affiliate will present a program titled “Are You at Risk for Breast Cancer?” from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at the Olean Public Library.
Light refreshments will be served, and door prizes will be distributed. For information on the event, which is free and open to the public, call 372-0200. The library is located at 134 North Second Street, Olean.
“The two most common risk factors associated with breast cancer are being a woman and getting older,” according to Komen Grants Administrator Natalie Weil. Speakers Lesley Hoag and Patricia Stewart will address additional risk factors, the importance of early detection by proper screening, knowing what is “normal” for an individual, and ways to reduce risk.
One speaker, Lesley Hoag, has been involved with Race for the Cure runs for more than 10 years. Each year, her team, Senecas Fighting for a Cure, grows in numbers with those supporting the cause. Lesley has many family members who have battled some form of cancer, and her mother, Debra, is a five-year breast cancer survivor. As a co-survivor, Lesley is passionate about promoting the messages of early detection, taking care of oneself and living every day to the fullest. She hopes one day to see the world cancer free.
The other speaker, Patricia “Trish” Stewart, is a board member of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Western New York Affiliate. She is responsible for training Komen volunteer speakers to educate local communities about breast health, and she facilitates a cancer support ministry at her church. As a breast cancer survivor, Trish has an understanding of cancer as a patient. As a mother of two cancer survivors, she also understands the effect of the disease on caregivers and families. She and her husband Tom have been married for 39 years. They have five grown children and are enjoying their “empty nest” as well as the arrival of grandchildren.
Their presentations in Olean are supported by funding awarded to the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Western New York Affiliate, for a project called “Empowered by Information: Libraries help Cattaraugus County Address Breast Cancer.”
Another presentation will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, at the King Memorial Library, 9538 Route 16, in Machias, with speakers June Brennan and Amy Benjamin. For information, call 353-9915.
In addition to supporting programs, the Komen Western New York Affiliate enabled each Cattaraugus County library to add a collection of books and DVDs about breast cancer and provided free breast cancer education information to all members of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System for useduring Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
According to Patricia Johnson, outreach coordinator for the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, library displays will increase the information people have available to them about breast cancer, and the programs will enable attendees to receive inspiration and support in person from a trained Komen ambassador.
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