DATE:  October, 2005
CONTACT: Rhonda Williamson, Coordinator, Women’s Center, (361) 825-2792; Steve Paschal, Public Affairs, (361) 825-2336

The Women’s Center at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to “Paint the Island Pink” for Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast cancer survivors will tell their stories during the “Paint the Island Pink” observance at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Thursday, Oct. 6 from noon to 2 p.m. in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

“Paint the Island Pink” is sponsored by The Women’s Center for Education and Service in observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Local cancer organizations will display materials showcasing the treatment, care and support options available for breast cancer patients in the Coastal Bend. Those attending are encouraged to wear pink.

“The goal of ‘Paint the Island Pink’ is to educate women of all ages about breast cancer,” said Women’s Center Coordinator Rhonda Williamson. “Approximately 65 percent of newly diagnosed cases are women with no history of the disease in their family so self breast examinations are important.”

The event will  feature a panel discussion that will include breast cancer survivors Cinda LeBus, director of education for Planned Parenthood of Corpus Christi; Rita Rusing, a visiting assistant professor in the University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences; and Dr. Yvonne Manalo from CHRISTUS Spohn Cancer Center.

Local groups and organizations taking part in the event include Planned Parenthood of South Texas, the Texas Department of Health Cervical Cancer Control Unit, Radiology and Associates, Spohn Cancer Center, and 2-Di-4, a local business that makes jewelry in honor of breast cancer victims.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. Approximately 200,000 cases are diagnosed each year, but with increased early detection the survival rate has reached 85 percent.