Improving Your Odds Against
maggie & louise
Share Their Views With RWM
Re-Defining Pink, 11 Years of
Building a Medical Center for All f o r a l l t h e t h i n g s t h at yo u a r e . . . r o c h e s t e r w o m a n
rochesterWomanMag.com :: october 2012
w w w. r o c h e s t e r w o m a n m a g . c o m
November 7 - December 9
November 23 - December 23
Share the magic, music and laughter of the holidays with friends and loved ones 2012-2012 Wilson Mainstage Season Sponsor:
Produced by Entertainment Events, Inc. | www.entertainmentevents.com
Megan Mueller and Guy Paul
By Charles Dickens Adapted and Directed by Mark Cuddy Music and Lyrics by Gregg Coffin Musical Director Don Kot Choreography by Meggins Kelley Media Sponsors:
“Sister” Colleen Moore returns!
The family favorite returns!
Following the hit, Late Nite Catechism, Colleen Moore returns as Sister in time to use her “students” to help solve one of history’s great mysteries: whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? Retelling the story of the nativity, this hilarious holiday production has gifts galore and bundles of laughs. Don’t be late – Sister can smell the guilt!
Rochester’s Holiday Family tradition, A Christmas Carol, returns in a sparkling production. This family classic will awaken your heart and rekindle your spirit with magic, merriment, and original music by Greg Coffin.
(585) 232-4382 | www.gevatheatre.org | Groups: (585) 232-1366 x3057
CLINICAL EXPERTISE AND CARING. A BREAST CENTER OF EXCELLENCE. Every woman is unique, and so is every breast cancer diagnosis. At the Rochester General Breast Center, our patients beneﬁt from a personalized treatment plan created by a multidisciplinary clinical team, while our Nurse Navigator program – the only one of its kind in the area – provides answers, advocacy and support every step of the way. That’s what makes us a Breast Center of Excellence, and the right choice for you and your loved ones.
Breast Center www.rochestergeneral.org/breastcenter
ETC 7 PLATTER CHATTER: Perlo’s 9
FASHION FORWARD 10
LEADING WOMEN: Maggie & Louise
QUEEN OF ARTS 16 LOCAL BUSINESS MATTERS 18 FOR A GOOD CAUSE
SPECIAL FEATURE: Rochester Hospitals
ARTIST VIEW: Unmasking Possibilities
WISDOM IN A TRAFFIC JAM
COVER STORY: Dr. Bridgette Wiefling
HEALTHY WOMAN: Improving Your Odds
SPECIAL FEATURE: Helping Patients Cope
RW INSPIRES 45 WORLD OF WOMEN SPORTS
SURVIVING WITH FLAIR 52 RW EVENTS 54 CALENDER 55 TIPS FOR WOMEN: Permanent Cosmetics
SURVIVOR STORIES 58
FABULOUS FINDS 60
GARDENING DIVA 62 FITNESS: Cancer-Fighting Foods
SPECIAL FEATURE: Avice O’Connell
OUR TEAM... Publishers
Kelly Breuer Barbara McSpadden
associate editor Ashley Cooper
Creative DIRECTOR Kelly Breuer
Art Director Melissa Meritt
Letter from the PUBLISHERS
“Everything’s the same; I’m living with cancer and it’s not going to stop me. But until you really test yourself and challenge yourself, I don’t think you quite know.”–Robin Roberts
It’s October, and once again it’s time for our “Think Pink” Breast Cancer Awareness issue. Currently, one in eight women can expect to be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Closer to home, Monroe County ranks first for all new diagnoses of breast cancer in New York State. It is for this reason that we devote one issue every year to this disease and the people and organizations in this community that are dealing with it, surviving it, and inspiring all of us. Last year at the Breast Cancer Coalition’s Artrageous Affair, one woman stood out from the crowd. With her striking pink highlights in her otherwise conservative hair style, e knew from that moment who our next “Think Pink” cover woman would be.. It was none other than Dr. Bridgette Wiefling, CEO of the Anthony Jordan Health center. We decided right then we needed to feature this incredbly inspiring and edgy woman in the pages of Rochester Woman Magazine. Turn to page 36 to read how she is working to build medical centers across the area to serve all who need it. Also in this issue, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Avice O’Connell, Director of the Women’s Breast Imaging at Highland Hospital. Read about what brought Dr. O’Connell from Dublin Ireland to Rochester to practice her career. And when you think of Italian food in Rochester, a number of restaurants immediately come to mind, but one in particular puts their own unique spin on some classic Italian favorites. Located in East Rochester, Perlo’s Reestuarant is a local favorite and we decided to see what all the fuss was about in this month’s Platter Chatter. Turn to page 8 for some mouth-watering photos and a succulant complete review of the their tasty Italian cuisine. And finally, this is a very important election year and one local race in particular is on the top of everyone’s mind. The race between U.S. Rep Louise Slaughter D-Fairport and County Executive Maggie Brooks R-Webster, has been .....the airwaves. These candidates will be officially debating on October 19th and 30th but we sent both campaigns a list of questions that we felt were important to our readers. You can read their responses starting on page 12. Don’t forget, that our Ultimate Women’s Expo is Saturday, November 3rd at the Dome and Expo Center. This year’s event will feature over 200 exhibitors, live demonstrations and music, sampling areas for food, beverage, and everyone who attendees with receive a swag bag with incredible samples and coupons and our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide! Mark the date and grab your girlfriends for a day of shopping, pampering and just plain fun! It’s free to attend.
Kell y & Barb
On Our Cover...
Photography for the cover story with Dr. Bridgett Weifling was provided by Rich Paprocki Photography, Rochester NY and were taken at the Anthony Jordan Health Center.
Jessica Bates Jane Marseglia
Rome Celli Jenniffer Merida Rich Paprocki Brandon Vick
Jenn Bergin Sarah Jane Clifford Colleen Flaherty Peggy Fortune Amy Gallo Frances Grossman Joan E. Lincoln Angella Luyk Maureen Male Lori Medeiros, MD, CM, FRCSC, FACS Caurie Putnam Nicolette Reidy Nicole Shein Brandy White Stephanie Williams
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Unlike any other publication in the Rochester area, our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, home matters, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local Rochester women. Ads are due on the 15th of the month prior to publication. The print magazines will be distributed locally in over 350 locations and will be in your inbox electronically by the middle of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Contact our home office 585.287.5362 1115 E. Main St, Box 60 Rochester, NY 14609 email@example.com Download our media kit at www.rochesterwomanmag.com The magazine is published 11 times a year by InnovateHER Media Group, llc. 1115 E. Main Street, Box 60, Rochester NY 14609. Copyright © 2012 InnovateHER Media Group, llc. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publishers. Rochester Woman Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of InnovateHER Media Group, llc. and will not be returned.
Highland Breast Imaging Offers Free Mammograms
Set in Istanbul, Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the CIA agent with “a particular set of skills” for hunting down bad guys, but this time his daughter (Maggie Grace) has to help rescue him when associates of the villains he killed the first time around decide to get their revenge.
For the month of October, Dressbarn is launching “Paint the Country Pink”. The
Alex Cross follows the homicide detective/psychologist, from the worldwide best-selling novels by James Patterson, as he meets his match in a serial killer. The two face off in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, but when the mission gets personal, Cross is pushed to the edge of his moral and psychological limits in this taut and exciting action thriller
Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future.
PaintTheCountryPink.com will feature a map
of the country where visitors can show their support for breast cancer awareness by virtually swiping a paintbrush over their location on the map.
10/5 Former collegiate wrester Scott Voss is a 42-year-old apathetic biology teacher in a failing high school. When cutbacks threaten to cancel the music program and lay off its teacher, Scott begins to raise money by moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter. Everyone thinks Scott is crazy, but in his quest, Scott gains something he never expected as he becomes a sensation that rallies the entire school.
“Paint the Country Pink” with Dressbarn!
In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Highland Breast Imaging – in conjunction with the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester and Cancer Services Program of Monroe County – will be offering free mammograms to women 40 and older who are uninsured or underinsured on Saturday, October 13. For the past eight years, Highland Breast Imaging has been offering free mammograms to women who do not have insurance or whose insurance does not cover breast cancer screenings. Hundreds of women have been screened for breast cancer because of this free event. Highland Breast Imaging, a part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, is one of the only alldigital, full-service breast imaging and diagnostic centers in Rochester, with technologists who all have 10 to 30 years of mammography experience. Not only will the event provide free mammograms, but both Reiki practitioners and a nail technician will be on hand for free Reiki sessions and minimanicures. Parking is free and refreshments will be provided for all clients. The screenings for the uninsured and underinsured will take place at Highland Breast Imaging, 500 Red Creek Drive, Suite 130. Appointments are required and can be made by calling (585) 4873305 or (585) 487-3304. Women who cannot make the screening are encouraged to schedule an appointment for a different day.
The “pinker” the country gets, the clearer the message of love and support becomes to those fighting this disease. In addition, Dressbarn will donate a dollar to the American Cancer Society for every person who paints the country pink (up to $100,000 total). The face of “Paint the Country Pink” is a little puppy named Ruby. Warming hearts wherever she goes, Ruby is a symbol of unconditional love and support. She will be available in every Dressbarn store and on dressbarn.
com for adoption at just $6, with a portion of the
proceeds to be donated to the American Cancer Society. “Breast cancer is a cause that is very close to our hearts because it affects so many women and their families,” said Veronica Valladares, Assistant Vice-President, Marketing at Dressbarn. “As part of our mission to inspire all women to look and feel beautiful, we have developed this easy and user-friendly program that helps make a difference for women affected by breast cancer. We encourage everyone to ‘Paint the Country Pink!’”
Superbly Crafted Italian Favorites By Nicole Shein | Photos by Brandon Vick Let’s be honest-—the Rochester
area is home to many Italian restaurants, and most of them are solidly mediocre. Not so Perlo’s, an unassuming East Rochester establishment that offers all the old Italian American favorites, as well as some fresh daily specials, each one cooked simply and superbly. Take chicken French, for example. All too often this standby is so bland and tired that it’s not worth the bother. At Perlo’s, it’s like an awakening: the thin chicken cutlets practically melt in your mouth, whereas the sauce is so bright and fresh and lemony that you remember why this dish became so popular in the first place. This is a classic interpretation of Chicken French, unsullied by capers or herbs or heavy breading or excess cheese. Sauteed calamari get the same light touch and minimalist approach. Yes, the calamari rings are fried to make them delightfully crispy, but then they are cooked with white wine and chicken stock before being tossed with banana pepper pieces, fresh tomato, onion, and kalamata olives. It’s an innovative, and addictive, twist on the usual batter-fried presentation. The sauce is light, the olives and peppers provide an occasional zing of flavor, and the calamari itself is more tender than any calamari has the right to be. Perlo’s arancini are made by combining risotto, mozzarella, peas and bits of prosciutto, forming the mixture into balls and then frying them. Outside, they are crisp as can be. The creamy, cheesy interior has enough nuttiness to be interesting as well as decadent. These are plated with fresh tomato marinara and dusted with parmesan cheese. Another Italian-American classic, the meatball, gets reinvented at Perlo’s. The appetizer version comes two (giant) meatballs to a plate, floating atop more of the fantastic marinara. Each meatball is covered in ricotta cheese, house-made pesto, and shavings of asiago, so that each bite provides a soft layer of creamy cheese to contrast with the herbal bite of basil and the tender, almost fluffy texture of the beefy meatball itself. Apologies if I’ve overused the word “tender” to describe Perlo’s food, but I have to trot it out one more time, to talk about the osso buco. After a slow, traditional braise, the lamb shank in this entree nearly fell apart when I touched my fork to it. Its taste was rich, pleasantly unctuous, and hearty—with its accompanying pappardelle and ragu, the osso buco makes a perfect meal for these cool fall evenings. Similarly, Italian pork sausage stars in an inventive pasta dish of rigatoni and beans. Broccoli and prosciutto provide contrast in both aesthetics and taste; the creaminess of white beans offsets the mild spice of the sausage. Tuck into this al dente pasta bowl at the end of a chilly, rainy day, and you won’t regret it. You know it ain’t Italian unless there’s pizza, and Perlo’s makes a fine pie. They are grilled, with chewy yet thin crusts. The one I tasted had figs, gorgonzola, gruyere, arugula, prosciutto and a drizzle of balsamic-honey reduction, but there are also versions topped with more traditional ingredients such as sausage, peppers, pepperoni, and mushrooms, in addition to the classic margherita pizza. Perlo’s also offers seafood entrees, many more pasta options, steak, salads, antipasto (the antipasto platter for two is a must for lovers of Italian meats and cheeses) and old-school Italian desserts like tiramisu, cannoli and spumoni. Executive Chef Ron Pearo handles the vast, varied menu with aplomb, providing whole-wheat and even gluten-free pasta when necessary, and customizing dishes to diners’ dietary limitations. It’s all part of the customercentric approach to serving delicious, old-world dishes in a casual setting. “We are all about hospitality and good food,” explains proprietor Donna Perlo. “We want everyone to leave our restaurant feeling like a friend—or even better, like family.”
“I’m Gonna Love You Through It”, by Martina McBride
I think it’s a big song, and I think it’s a real song. Hopefully this song can change lives. Most of the time, we try to write fun, up-tempo, feel-good songs, but this one is actually going to touch a lot of lives I think.” Men and women with breast cancer today have a mind-boggling array of options, from wigs and scarves to specialty bras and swimsuits. My family history with breast cancer has taught me that when you’re first diagnosed with breast cancer, all you can think about is “Am I going to die?” But as you begin to learn to live with your cancer diagnosis, you start to think about other things, like “What am I going to look like bald?” It may sound frivolous, but ask any breast cancer survivor and she/he tell you that they thought a lot about whether to splurge on that real human hair wig or what they might look like in a swimsuit. Many male breast cancer patients have an element of embarrassment regarding the diagnosis of breast cancer. There is a perception that it is a woman’s disease, and therefore men feel shame with the diagnosis. There is no reason to feel ashamed about the diagnosis of cancer of any type; a cancer survivor is exactly that, a survivor. Feeling good about how you look is an important part of feeling good about yourself in general. And no one deserves to feel good about herself or himself more than a person who’s surviving breast cancer. Fortunately, men and women with breast cancer today have a variety array of options, from wigs and scarves to specialty bras and swimsuits for women, designed with their needs in mind. Not Your Grandmothers Bra
Mastectomy bras still look a bit different than regular bras because they include pockets for breast prostheses; they often cover much more of the breast than do regular bras. You can also ask to have a pocket sewn into your own bra to accommodate a breast form. You should be fitted for a mastectomy bra by a certified fitter. Most cancer programs either have boutiques that do fittings or provide referrals. Most insurers will pay for at least one mastectomy bra per year (along with coverage for prostheses). Check with your carrier about coverage. If you’ve had a lumpectomy and don’t need full breast prosthesis, you may still want to get a small breast form for symmetry. My family education has explained that it’s like filling in a missing piece to the puzzle. I have also learned that there are about eight different styles of partial breast forms -- different shapes and thicknesses -- in a full range of sizes. There is also a “molded cup” bra that is pre-shaped and easily filled out. Other options available include a soft camisole that women can wear during their post-surgical period with pockets to hold drainage tubing and bottles. Many insurers also pay for one of these. Good news! There is also an array of self-adhering nipples and nipple covers for women in various stages of reconstruction. Today, you can literally buy almost anything with the famous pink ribbon on it - from hats and socks to bookmarks, dog collars, and eyeglass cases. The Breast Cancer Site: www.thebreastcancersite.com I truly believe that women and men who’ve had breast cancer are on a mission for awareness, and rightfully so. Wearing any shade of PINK can be their way of advertising it. Joan E. Lincoln owns Panache Vintage & Finer Consignment in the Brighton Commons.
October 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Engagement www.richpphoto.com firstname.lastname@example.org 585.455.3931
In what areas do you feel Rochester demonstrates the most room for economic growth?
Once defined by a handful of large companies, Monroe County is now home to an exciting mix of small and mid-sized businesses showing electric growth in fields like optics, technology, healthcare, and education. Local leaders at all levels of government must work to partner strategically with private sector employers to identify and target similar areas that are ripe for growth. That strategy has empowered Monroe County to help local employers secure over 85,000 jobs in our community since 2004, and is one of the many reasons we were named a Top Ten Place Poised for Greatness in 2012. Small businesses are fast becoming the mainstay of this struggling economy, but are being threatened by big corporations, high taxes, and intimidating start-up fees. What is your plan to help support and encourage the growth of independent business owners?
Small businesses are creating 70% of all new jobs in our country today and have the potential to do even more to put America back on the path to prosperity. Yet, our Federal Government continues to over-tax, over-regulate, and overburden the small businesses that are building successful communities and employing our friends and neighbors. I think that’s wrong. Here at home, we’ve held property taxes flat for eight straight years and, as a result, we continue to be a State leader in job growth and consumer confidence. I will use the same jobs-first approach as Monroe County’s Representative in Congress. Do you have any intentions of altering the present healthcare system, and if so, how would you go about improving it?
I oppose the Federal Government’s health care overreach because it hikes costs for small businesses, puts a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of critical healthcare decisions, and dismantles Medicare as we know it. Our families and seniors deserve better. Instead, we must protect Medicare, restore the nearly $750 billion that’s been cut from the program, and craft real reform that helps families while protecting taxpayers. Our community knows it can be done. In 2010, Monroe County launched a groundbreaking prescription discount program that has saved local families more than $5 million, at no cost to taxpayers. I will seek similar innovative healthcare solutions in Congress. Most people are fed up with partisan politics; how do you propose to increase cooperation and civility among parties?
I’ve worked to make promoting a spirit of collaboration the hallmark of my time as County Executive. When I was sworn into this office
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
in 2004, the County Executive and Mayor of Rochester could not sit in the same room together. I was proud to repair that relationship and have since established strong partnerships with three different Rochester Mayors. In fact, our spirit of collaboration is evident throughout all of Monroe County, which is likely home to more local shared service agreements than any other community in the State. I’ll be proud to continue promoting cooperation and civility in Congress.
Sustainability and environmental protection is at the top of everyone’s minds. How crucial is the role of sustainability and the environment in your campaign?
The issues of environmental protection and affordable energy affect every American and every sector of our economy. That’s why I believe in an “all of the above” energy policy to ensure America’s energy independence while reducing costs. Yet, we must simultaneously seek sustainable solutions for the future. We can find answers right here in Monroe County, where we launched Green Fleet to transform our entire fleet to alternative fuel models, three years before the federal government announced it would do the same. Our Regional Transportation Operations Center also helps save local commuters 480,000 gallons of gas and nearly $2 million per year.
Women’s reproductive rights have been a hot topic in the media lately. With the 40th anniversary of Roe vs Wade coming up next year, what is your stance on this issue and do you feel that a women’s rights in this area should be legislated?
Much will be said during this increasingly negative campaign season, but the people who live and work in the birthplace of Susan B. Anthony already know the truth: as Monroe County’s first female County Executive, I’ve been a staunch advocate for women’s issues throughout my time in public service. Furthermore, as a mother to two young adult daughters and someone who has promoted the involvement of women in government for decades, I believe strongly in protecting women’s health. While I am personally pro-life, my record shows that I govern for all, and I will continue to do so in Congress.
In 2010, Monroe County launched a prescription discount program that has more than $5 million, at no cost t I will seek similar innovative healthcare s
a groundbreaking saved local families to taxpayers. solutions in Congress. rochesterWomanMag.com :: october 2012
We still have to find but what we d trying to rep 14
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
In What areas do you feel Rochester demonstrates the most room for economic growth?
We have to rebuild and retain our manufacturing base, and we do that by ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and using those incentives to reward companies who bring jobs back home. I’ve written legislation to make sure trade agreements are fair to American manufacturers, and that we’re not outsourcing critical national security manufacturing jobs to other countries. High-tech innovation is another bright spot for Rochester, which is why I’ve worked to bring home funds for innovative research at University of Rochester, RIT, and local companies so we can support the high-tech jobs of the future. Small businesses are fast becoming the mainstay of this struggling economy but are being threatened by big corporations, high taxes, and intimidating start-up fees? What is your plan to help support and encourage the growth of independent business owners?
Small businesses are the engines of job creation in America, and we need to level the playing field so they can compete. Right now, big corporations benefit from loopholes in the tax code, while small businesses are stuck paying the full corporate tax rate, making it harder for them to compete. I support the President’s plan to lower the corporate tax rate across the board and pay for it by eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for big corporations that don’t need them. We also have to support tax relief for middle-class families so they have income to spend on the goods and services that small businesses provide. Do you have any intentions of altering the present healthcare system, and if so, how would you go about improving it?
We’ve taken some enormous strides in healthcare the last few years, especially women’s healthcare. We ended caps on coverage so if you get sick, your family won’t go broke. Now it is illegal for insurance companies to charge women more for their healthcare, and we’ve ended the insidious practice of treating domestic violence and pregnancy as pre-existing condidions. We still have to find ways to lower costs and expand coverage, but what we don’t need is Washington Republicans
ways to lower costs and expand coverage, don’t need is Washington Republicans peal health care and turn Medicare into a voucher system.
trying to repeal health care and turn Medicare into a voucher system, a move that would cost seniors an extra $6,400 for coverage and leave seniors on their own to negotiate with insurance companies. Most people are fed up with partisan politics; how do you propose to increase cooperation and civility among parties?
I’m convinced that bipartisanship is still possible. This year, I passed the STOCK Act with widespread bipartisan support, criminalizing insider trading by members of Congress. Unfortunately, when leaders of one party make it clear that scoring political points is more important than creating jobs and growing the economy, it’s hard to get anything done. Republican leader Mitch McConnell recently said the GOP’s number one priority is “to deny President Obama a second term.” When one side roots for failure to improve their chances of winning elections, it creates a toxic atmosphere that makes collaboration very hard. Sustainability and environmental protection is at the top of everyone’s minds. How crucial is the role of sustainability and the environment in your campaign?
The only path to a sustainable future is investing in clean, renewable alternative energy. That’s something I’ve done in Congress, securing millions in fuel cell research funding for local businesses like Delphi. I’m very concerned with the prospect of treating hydrofracking waste water in our community – I don’t think Monroe County families want their kids brushing their teeth with flammable water. Unfortunately, my opponent has refused to be forthright regarding the county’s hydrofracking wastewater treatment policies, leaving families in the dark about the prospect of bringing that waste water into our community. Monroe County families deserve an honest and open conversation about alternative energy. Women’s reproductive rights have been a hot topic in the media lately. With the 40th anniversary of Roe vs Wade coming up next year, what is your stance on this issue and do you feel that a women’s rights in this area should be legislated?
As the co-founder of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I fully support a woman’s right to choose, but that right is under attack from Republican leadership in Congress. Todd Akin’s outrageous comments about “legitimate rape” were not surprising to me, because I hear and see outrageous proposals regarding choice on a regular basis. This Congress, Representative Paul Ryan and company introduced a bill that would redefine rape to make it easier for providers to deny women a choice. Not a single Republican voted against the bill. We need to focus on jobs, and the economy, not limiting a woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices.
rochesterWomanMag.com :: october 2012
The women at the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) are getting ready to, once again, re-define pink at the 11th annual ‘ARTrageous’ Affair. Since 1997, BCCR, a local not-for-profit organization led by activists who strive to provide support to those touched by breast cancer, has used advocacy and empowerment to raise breast cancer awareness. The Coalition has put on many events over the years, but none quite like the ‘ARTrageous’ Affair held at the Rochester Plaza Hotel. Holly Anderson, Executive Director, and Patti Cataldi, ARTrageous Affair Co-Chair, look forward to this event every year. “It is a night of celebration,” said Cataldi. “We’ve come to sort of use re-defining pink and carried it forward. It’s not your mothers support group. Last year I walked into the room and saw so much shocking pink. It was so gratifying because they get it.” The gala that is taking place on Saturday October 6, 2012 will not only entertain guests with cocktails and dinner, but with silent and live auctions conducted by professional Auctioneer Carol Ritter Wright. According to Anderson, guests might expect to see artistry from Ramon Santiago, Paul and Christine Knoblach, Wendell Castle, Nancy Jurs, Constance Mauro, Frank Argento and many more. Anderson went on to explain that live auction packages often include Jazz Festival tickets with dinner, ski trips as well as trips to Las Vegas, New York City and Nantucket, spa packages and restaurant gift cards. As if works of art by local artists and packages weren’t enough, Kitty Van Bortel donated a Ford Mustang. “We raised $30,600,” said Anderson. “The money was directed to go toward The Mammography Project at the Anthony Jordan Health Center.” “We also do a Pink Balloon prize,” said Cataldi. She explained that they sell between 50 and 100 balloons sold at $50 a piece and containing a prize valued at $50 minimum. One balloon, however, holds the grand prize. “Everyone pops their balloons before dinner,” said Cataldi, “It’s ceremonious and exciting.” Each year Glen Moscoe, of Moscoe Jewelers, designs a special ring for the event that is used as their grand prize. This year’s design is a necklace. In between all the festivities, The Coalition will be giving out the 2012 Harriet Susskind Rosenblum Advocate’s Spirit Award to Katrina Smith Korfmacher, Ph.D., who is the Director of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core and Department of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester. The 2012 Laurie Pask Heart & Hands Award goes to Alexander J. Solky, MD an oncologist at Interlakes Oncology and Hermatology, PC; Solky is also greatly loved by his patients. Over four-hundred people attended the 2011 event that raised $120,000. “We would love to hit the $100,000 mark this year as well,” said Cataldi. “It’s climbed steadily over the past 11 years.” “The Coalition is growing each year,” said Anderson. “We continue to grow and offer more programs and services to the community.” Anderson also explained how she desires for the community to be fully engaged and to understand why breast cancer demands our attention. “It is devastating and serious,” she said. “Mortality rates have barely budged and we can’t let the world become complacent about a disease that shatters families and takes far too many lives.” The Coalition is extremely grateful for the support they receive. “We are grateful to our local community,” said Cataldi. “We are able to build strong relationships and that’s part of the beauty of supporting local.” As for anything new and exciting this year, guests will have to wait and see. “There are always new twists,” said Anderson. “That’s the challenge-new needs to add unexpected excitement to keep people coming back.” Both agree that they come up with new ideas every year for the upcoming years ahead. “We can’t stop what we’re doing here,” said Anderson. “We’re always thinking about what next.” For details about the event please http://bccr.org/event_artrageous12.html.
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Specialists in the Field of Breast Imaging Digital Mammography, 3D Digital Mammography, Ultrasonography, Breast MRI, Multimodality Imaging Biopsy, Bone Densitometry and newly Expanded Cancer Risk Assessment & Genetic Counseling Program Designated an ACR Breast Imaging Center of Excellence
New Victor office opening December
Now scheduling appointments for screening mammography and bone densitometry Main Office: 170 Sawgrass Dr. | Rochester, NY 14620 GeneseO: 126 Court St. | Geneseo, NY 14454 Greece: 103 Canal Landing Blvd., Suite 5 | Rochester, NY 14626 NEW victOr: 7375 State Route 96, Suite 100 | Victor, NY 14564
(585) 442-2190 | www.ewbc.com
EWBC posts on Facebook news and information on exciting advancements in breast health and imaging along with details on upcoming seminars and events. facebook.com/elizabethwendebreastcare
EWBC_SIFOBI 8.55x5.5 RWM.indd 1
9/20/12 10:13 AM
OctOber prOgrams offered at Breast CanCer Coalition of roChester Support Groups Brown Bag Fridays Eat Well, Live Well Lives Touched, Lives Celebrated Voices & Vision Gentle Yoga Healing Arts Initiative Also, save the date for the Holiday Open House at the Coalition, November 28th for more information call 585.473.8177 or e-mail Jean@bccr.org
She’d like her
We took her pink ribbon as a symbol for breast cancer awareness. It’s time to give it back. Let’s go beyond awareness to work toward a cure—and give her the future she deserves.
th Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester
A nn i v e r s A ry
Our grateful appreciation to Martino Flynn LLC for their support and creative expertise.
Breast Cancer Coalition of rochester 585.473.8177 www.bccr.org
By nicolette kelly reidy I photo by jenniffer merida
Every woman deserves the opportunity to look and feel their best. This is especially true for women undergoing treatment for cancer. At Sue’s Finishing Touch Salon in Henrietta, Oana Dancuta, Rochester’s first certified oncology esthetician, is helping such women feel beautiful at a time when they need to be pampered the most. Dancuta moved to Rochester four years ago from her home country of Romania, where she was first a biology teacher. She decided to make a career change into the healing arts after her own esthetician in Romania succumbed to kidney cancer. Dancuta says, “I am forever thankful to her for making me look and feel great. I realized I wanted to help others learn how to take better care of themselves, and make people happy”. She also recommends the book Grace and Grit by Ken Wilber, whose story of cancer patients was an enlightening experience for Dancuta. While able to provide esthetics (beauty treatments to the skin) to anyone, Dancuta is highly trained to work with oncology patients, providing skin care services while they are receiving treatment therapies or post-treatment therapies. She earned her certification in Cosmetic Chemistry and Advanced Skin Analysis from The Skincare Therapy Institute Corp. in Atlanta, Georgia. “I’ve been trained in proper touch techniques, as well as using and applying the appropriate skincare products to each individuals’ skin needs,” states Dancuta, “which is important, because cancer patients have fragile skin”. She proudly uses the Lindi Skin product line, which was created by a team of experts from dermatology and oncology with the design to help soothe and relieve the effects of cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy. Therefore, the products are free of fragrances and other irritants that allow it to be used by all skin types. “Many patients are not prepared for the side effects to their skin during cancer treatments, like dry/itching
skin and rashes, so these products help individuals feel better both physically and emotionally”. Just some of the services Dancuta can provide include anti-stress, vitamin revitalizing facials, resurfacing peels, and dermal rolling/ needling, which is used to stimulate natural collagen. All of which are safe, gentle, but still effective treatments. Oncology patients are required to obtain consent from their doctor in order for Dancuta to treat them. The average price for her services is $40. Dancuta will soon be celebrating her first year with Sue’s Finishing Touch Salon, crediting the festive fall decorations to what drew her attention to applying to the salon last year! “They have a very welcoming atmosphere, and over twenty years of experience, so it was an easy choice to work here,” Dancuta states. The salon owner, Sue Blackmar, has been in the business for over thirty years. High school friends and a similar climate are what brought Oana Dancuta and her family from Romania to the Rochester area. Her husband, Dobrin, travels back and forth to Romania for his business, and together the couple has two young boys, David and Daniel. In her spare time, Dancuta loves to cook, and makes Romanian food everyday. Her family also enjoys playing tennis, golf, and bicycling which Dancuta is quick to remind everyone to use lots of sunscreen! Dancuta truly seems to be enjoying her second career.“I believe everybody should feel beautiful, healthy, and relaxed. I am so proud to be able to provide a soothing, healing, comforting experience.” Oana Dancuta can be reached at Sue’s Finishing Touch Salon 585-334-1280, www.suesfinishingtouchsalon.com
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by maureen male I photo by jenniffer merida
While many of us are getting ready to hang fall-themed wreaths upon our doors, others are opting for a more meaningful decoration: a pink ribbon. When we are bundling up for colder weather, layering our long sleeve t-shirts with our thick cardigans, others are switching into their athletic shoes, pulling on their headbands and jackets, and walking for a cause. Since 1985, October has been declared ‘National Breast Cancer Awareness Month’, and each October we see an ever-growing rally behind women who have been fighting battle of breast cancer. One local charity, Embrace Your Sisters (EYS), has been helping the women of the Genesee region fight this battle, not only during October, but all year long. Embrace Your Sisters is an organization that provides “short-term financial assistance” to breast cancer patients living in Ontario and its six surrounding counties. “Almost one thousand women in the area are diagnosed with breast cancer each year,” Susan Cooney, President of Embrace Your Sisters, says. “The financial costs of treatment and being out of work are devastating for breast cancer patients and their families.” Ms. Cooney states that Embrace Your Sisters is able to give their financial help to about 50 families a year. The money given to friends of EYS can be used for needs such as bus fare to get to and from appointments or even avoiding eviction. “We once bought a ticket for grandma to come here to care for children when mom was too ill to do so,” says Cooney. The organization began with five women recognizing they had friends in need. Chris Philipson, one of the founders of EYS, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her three friends and sister decided to orchestrate a fundraiser for her cause. After reaching their monetary goal and even going above it, one of the group members vocalized the need that countless other women had. From there, the five decided that they wanted to start a charity that would help other breast cancer patients. As Ms. Cooney states, “Nothing stops these five hardworking
women, and so they did.” Cooney’s own involvement began after her hairdresser, who was one of the five founders, asked if she would do her a favor. Agreeing to help for a year, Ms. Cooney worked on the legal organization of the charity and the grant committee that reviews applications. When the term was over Cooney decided to stay for good. “I never thought of getting out at the year end.” The community and support that started with these five women has carried on into the organization today. Cooney points out that all of the staff—some who contribute more than fifteen hours a week—are volunteers. But it’s not only the volunteers that make a difference. Cooney says that the community at large has been very generous, and helps the organization to raise money and make a huge difference in these patients’ lives. In the past five years, Embrace Your Sisters has been able to give out almost 200,000 dollars to those in need. Embrace Your Sisters is also working on various projects to help the organization and its recipients. The organization will also be participating in the ‘Festival of Trees’ event at the Granger Homestead in Canandaigua during the months of November and December. The ornaments for their tree will be in memory of or in support of a breast cancer patient or in appreciation and support for their caregivers. “It’s our salute to both patients and their friends and families who get them through it,” Cooney says. Another project that Embrace is working on is a support handbook for cancer patients and their friend and families. “Right now there is no comprehensive handbook listing all the support services and organizations,” Cooney says. “We are almost done with one and hope to publish a draft online through our website in the next month or so.” A final draft is expected to be available later this fall, both online and in hardcopy.
rochesterWomanMag.com :: october 2012
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By Amy Gallo
When one thinks of the top Rochester area hospitals – Rochester General, Strong Memorial, and Highland – rarely do the words “top breast cancer leader” follow. However, with four distinct centers dedicated to the detection and treatment of breast cancer, Rochester proves that word association rarely tells the whole story. Rochester General Hospital Rochester General Hospital’s Breast Center, part of the Lipson Cancer & Blood Center, is a nationally recognized breast cancer diagnosis and treatment facility. The first Quality Breast Center of Excellence in New York State, the Center offers full-service breast cancer care, including screening, diagnosis, medical and radiation oncology, mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, the RGH Mammography Department contains the hospital’s most unique and potentially life-saving feature: high risk screening clinics to help women with a strong family history learn about and lessen their risk of cancer. Strong Memorial Hospital The University of Rochester Medical Center’s Strong Memorial Hospital also provides women with full-service breast care. Their Comprehensive Breast Care Center, part of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, specializes in breast imaging services, allowing women to have their mammogram first read by a breast imaging expert to determine whether or not a biopsy is necessary. This extra step is unique in upstate New York and Strong Memorial is one of the only hospitals that provide this special service. Highland Hospital Highland Hospital’s Breast Imaging Center, also a part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, focuses solely on detection. Their technologists all have 10 to 30 years of mammography experience and are experts at interpreting mammograms. Also designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, Highland features all-digital mammography technology that allows for better detection, fewer callbacks, and same-day results. This technology includes an on-site stereotactic table that allows physicians to perform needle biopsies, high-field MRI with dedicated breast coil for women with dense tissue or implants, and bone density tests, or DEXA scans, which have been shown to indicate a patient’s risk for breast cancer.
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Pluta Cancer Center Although currently an independent center specializing in cancer treatment, Pluta Cancer Center started in 1975 within the Genesee Hospital with a grant from the Pluta family. The Center was the hospital’s first cancer treatment facility and soon grew to become a valuable resource for comprehensive cancer care. Pluta provides compassionate care through a personalized, patient-centered approach that empowers patients and their families. It offers the latest in radiation therapy technology, chemotherapy treatment and provides massage therapy, yoga, tai chi, support groups and nutrition counseling in a friendly, intimate environment. When Genesee Hospital closed in 2001, the Pluta family worked to keep the center open in the Genesee Hospital building and eventually moved to their current location on Red Creek Drive. Pluta Cancer Center is New York’s first independent, not-for-profit cancer center. Patient Care While all of the facilities are most dedicated to restoring breast cancer patients’ physical health, each of them also feature programs that include care for patients’ mental and emotional well-being. Unique to our region, Rochester General’s Oncology Clinical Nurse Navigator program matches each breast cancer patient with one nurse who will be there from detection to recovery. Offering education, support for both patient and family members, and assistance with referrals for outside services, such as transportation assistance, this program provides each breast cancer patient with a constant and consistent form of well-rounded support. Both Strong Memorial and Highland Hospital’s patient support services are found within the URMC James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and feature education, counseling, and breast cancer support groups. Highland Hospital also features a special Inpatient Surgical Unit just for women recovering from all types of surgery, including mastectomies and reconstructive surgery. The nurses provide both physical and emotional support for both the recovering patient and their families. Even with the highest-rated centers offering the most abundant, well-rounded services, Rochester’s hospitals may not be the first to come to mind for breast cancer care. With a second look at their compassionate and comprehensive programs, perhaps it’s time to change the word association.
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(585) 232-4382 | www.gevatheatre.org | Groups: (585) 232-1366 x3057 rochesterWomanMag.com :: october 2012
by peggy fortune The Al Sigl Community WalkAbout is one if the organization’s biggest fundraisers of the year. This year to kick off the event, the Al Sigl Community of agencies is hosting Unmask the Possibilities. The event will be held Friday, October 5th at SC Fine Art Gallery in the Hungerford Building downtown. Fifty masks designed by clients of Al Sign member agencies will be on display for the evening. The two women organizing the event have their own unique stories to tell about why they got involved. For Sarah Greive, who works at Rochester’s Cornerstone Group and has three children; finding time to volunteer can be difficult but also offers many rewards. “You’re not only helping someone else, you’re also helping yourself. Volunteering for WalkAbout is great because you get to feel so connected to the cause,” she says. “My first year as a team leader was the first time I’d done anything like that since the jump-a-thon in grade school! It felt really good to know I was making a difference.”
WalkAbout is truly a family affair for Sarah. “My husband, my dad, and my niece all get involved,” she says. “Even my teenagers love it. Last year, my sister agreed to help organize a team together. It’s so easy because people really do want to help.” Al Sigl has been near to Sarah’s heart nearly all of her life. Her sister, Summer Thornton, who passed away in 2004, received services at Mary Cariola and CP Rochester from a young age. “Having a sister born in the 1970s with multiple physical disabilities, I saw how hard my mother worked to care for Summer before she found Al Sigl. They say it takes a village to raise a healthy child. It takes even more to raise a child with special needs. That’s one of the main reasons I volunteer at these events, because I want families to realize they are not alone.” “When I volunteered at the mask decorating activity at CP Rochester with Nicole, I kept thinking of when Summer roamed those halls. It felt good to spend time with her friends again and take part in an activity she loved – painting. I hope she’d be proud of the mask I painted. She was a much better artist than I am – a painting of hers even won a national award. Even though Summer required help with everyday tasks, she was independent at heart. By volunteering for WalkAbout, I want to help others achieve that sense of independence.” Nicole VanGorder-Pratt, became involved as an Al Sigl Volunteer partly due to her role as Chief Talent Officer/Financial Services Professional for Financial Architects, a MassMutual company. People are her passion – specifically helping people make connections. “I work with young professionals, families just starting out, and businesses.
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Our company does a lot of work in special care planning, helping to educate families with a developmentally disabled child or other family member learn more about legal guardianship, establishing trusts, and navigating Medicaid and Medicare. That’s how I first learned about Al Sigl. I’ve always been interested in education and mental health advocacy,” Nicole says, “so volunteering was a natural fit. I’ve served on the WalkAbout committee now for two years. My Al Sigl friends are like a second family.” Of her involvement, Nicole says, “WalkAbout is a really fun event, but what I love most is that it brings people together from different backgrounds. There are teams from across the region; you can really see how Al Sigl serves the entire community.” She goes on to say, “Being a team leader only takes a few hours, including the time you spend at the event. It’s a great way for people who want to help to get involved.” Giving back to the community is very important to Nicole; in addition to Al Sigl, she also volunteers as a mentor for St. Joseph’s Villa, she is a Founding Board Member for the proposed Greater Works Charter School for developmentally disabled and at-risk students, and is an active member of the Alumni Board at St. John Fisher College. WalkAbout is “one of my favorite days of the year” she says. “I don’t always get to see the direct impact of my volunteer hours. But volunteering at CP Rochester to help with the mask decorating, I was surprised how the people I met volunteering last year remembered me and were happy to see me. You develop the most amazing relationships.”
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Dear Angella, I have started to think about offering my employees health insurance. I have no idea how I go about this, who can I contact for quotes? ~ Shamila Dear Shamila, There are a few different options you can investigate. I do want to say upfront that I am not well versed in health care laws. These are just some of the things that I have learned while researching the issue for myself and my employees. Your first option is to call one of your local chamber of commerce. I know the Greece Chamber and the Rochester Business Alliance offer health care plans.“The Rochester Business Alliance offers a variety of health and dental products from Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and Guardian at group rates to verified employees of member firms. We can insure self-employed individuals as well as employer groups with up to 50 employees. There are specific documents, employee participation requirements and procedures required to enroll” (This came directly from the RBA website http://www. rochesterbusinessalliance.com/HealthInsurance.aspx). Your payroll services may offer health care plans as well. I would suggest calling your payroll specialist directly to see what they offer. Your second option is to look into Healthy NY. This is reducedcost health insurance which is available under the Healthy NY program to eligible small businesses and their employees. When I checked their website (www.dfs.ny.gov/healthyny/ index.html) I found the following criteria: 1. The business must be located within New York State. 2. The business must have 1-50 eligible employees. 3. At least 30% of the employees must earn $40,000 or less in annual wages. 4. The business must not have provided group health insurance coverage to its employees within the last 12 months. You can call 1-866-HEALTHY NY (1-866-432-5849) for more details or questions. Your third option is to contact what is known as a broker. They represent companies looking for more individual quotes. My good friend Marlo Wiktorski of Delta Benefits LLC (www. delta-benefits.com) gave me quite the education on the differences in plans and how they each affect your company. A broker’s responsibility is to you the end user; they will negotiate a rate that is the best for you and your company. They usually work with companies of 50 or more employees. They are well versed in the different plans and will be able to get you more options. When you go through the first two options, you may only be given one or two plans to choose from-these plans are already predetermined. Through a broker, they can help customize a plan that fits all your employee needs. If you have any questions or concerns, you can go directly to your broker and they fight on your behalf. These are just a few of the options out there for you. Please remember I am not an insurance expert-- just offering up some of the things that I learned. I have included a few websites for you to research which best suits you. Whomever you decide to go with, make sure you are comfortable with the plans being offered, that they fit your needs and your employees’ needs. Have a question for Angella? Send it to Angella@wisdominatrafficjam. com or check out her business www.onestoprochester.com or www. wisdominatrafficjam.com.
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Division of Plastic Surgery
Beating cancer is the most beautiful thing of all.
Whether you have fought breast cancer—or supported someone else who did—you’ve done something amazingly beautiful.
The Division of Plastic Surgery is here to give women the options they need. We have the most experience in the area, and we provide the very latest reconstructive techniques. We are also the only plastic surgeons who are part of the University of Rochester Medical Center and the Wilmot Cancer Center. We listen. We give you time. And should you choose reconstruction, we will provide a beautifully restored breast. Because sometimes, reconstructing a breast helps reconstruct a life. Contact Dr. Howard Langstein or Dr. J. Guilherme Christiano to schedule an appointment. Call 585-275-1000 or visit plastics.urmc.edu.
9/17/12 1:48 PM
The Comprehensive Breast Care Center
Beating breast cancer is a beautiful thing. A diagnosis of breast cancer is something every woman hopes to avoid. But right here in Rochester, the Comprehensive Breast Care Center offers the very best in breast cancer care. We provide all the services you need in one location. And we are the only center in the area that will treat breast cancer with a multidisciplinary team of doctors. So call us for more information: (585) 275-BRST. Because getting the very best care is a beautiful thing, too. www.wilmot.urmc.edu
The Comprehensive Breast Care Center would like to welcome the addition of Dr. Rachel Leah Farkas, M.D. as an Assistant Professor of Surgery.
9/18/12 10:19 AM
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october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
By Caurie Putnam | Photos by Rich Paprocki When Dr. Bridgette Wiefling, chief executive officer of Rochester’s Anthony L. Jordan Health Center, was a medical student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison she grew tired of paying $1,100 a month in rent for a tiny apartment. So Wiefling, as a single 25 year old woman, did what most would NOT do – she built a house. “Looking back, I’m really proud of that,” said Dr. Wiefling, who went through a long, laborious process of finding a lot, buying the property at auction, designing a house that would fit the odd shaped lot, and helping built it by doing everything from insulation to some electrical work. Dr. Wiefling’s persistence in creating the dwelling that would be her home throughout medical school foreshadowed the persistence and hard work that would come twenty years later when she helped re-build something else in her new home city: a medical center for all. Bridgette Wiefling, 41, was born in a rural area of Pennsylvania to Geraldine and Donald Wiefling. She was the youngest child of four and the only girl. “Nobody in my family ever treated me as a girl,” Dr. Wiefling recalled. “My parents didn’t have any different expectations of me in terms of workload or achievement then they did of my brothers.” The family owned and operated a cattle farm and all the Wiefling children – Brian, Robert, Bradley, and Bridgette, were involved.
in place,” Dr. Wiefling said. “I saw bad outcomes and a system that wasn’t supportive to patients and family’s needs. I didn’t want that to happen to anyone else.” In medical school, Bridgette would continue her focus on helping patients in underserved communities. “I chose to have a really broad experience,” Dr. Wiefling said. “I set up my medical training to have a diverse experience where I worked at free clinics for refugees and migrants and in the inner-city and rural areas.” When she was looking for a residency program she knew she wanted to be in a place with a diverse population. “I sought that out,” Dr. Wiefling said. “I really enjoyed inner city medicine.” Wiefling also wanted to be close to her family for her residency. When she was offered a prestigious residency in pediatrics through the University of Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital and Rochester General Hospital she knew she found her ideal community. “I liked Rochester as a city and a community,” Dr. Wiefling said. “It wasn’t a huge urban mecca, but it had urban and rural. It felt like a place I could wrap my arms around and make a difference.”
And Wiefling has made a difference.
“There is a lot to do on a farm,” Dr. Wiefling said. “You can’t do it all alone so you have to rely on each other. I think the farm taught me a lot about team work and problem solving.” Geraldine Wiefling believes the farm laid the foundation for her daughter’s success. “Everybody had to do their share,” Geraldine said. “That’s where Bridgette learned her work ethic. It taught her you have to work as a team and have a good team behind you if you want to get things done.” Geraldine remembers her daughter as a hard worker. “She never picked the easy jobs,” Geraldine said. “She always went for the hardest, even as a little girl.” When Bridgette was in the third grade something happened in her family that would put her on a direct path into the medical profession. Her grandmother, whom she was extremely close to, had a serious reaction to iodine while undergoing a routine medical test. The iodine made her ill for a year and ultimately killed her.“I was in and out of the hospital for a year with my parents visiting my grandmother,” Dr. Wiefling said. “It drove me to be a doctor.” Her mother remembers her declaring in the third grade that she would become a physician. “It was a very hard year,” said Geraldine. “But it helped make her who she is today.” The experience with her grandmother also exposed Dr. Wiefling to inequities that can occur in medical care in different types of communities. “I saw that the rural community we lived in didn’t have a medical system rochesterWomanMag.com :: october 2012
“The system needed work,” Dr. Wiefling said. “You couldn’t get through on the phone, the wait to see a primary care doctor could be two hours, there wasn’t a way to communicate with the hospitals, we were still using paper records, and it was chaotic trying to get information.” Dr. Wiefling – who became medical director in 2006 and CEO in 2007 – went to work batting down the hatchet. “We improved information exchange, moved to electronic records, got data mining capacity, added a call center, added same day/next day appointments and updated equipment,” Dr. Wiefling said. “We have the systems in place now to make it easier for patients to access medical care.” The center added a dental clinic in 2011 and, with major funding from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, is currently building an urgent care center at its Holland Street location. Also, last month Jordan opened a satellite center called Jordan at Kennedy Tower on Plymouth Avenue. Two other satellite centers – Jordan at Andrews Terrace on St. Paul Street and Jordan at Glenwood Garden on Kestrel Street – are also in the process of opening. The three new centers were funded by a $1 million dollar Health Center New Access Point grant to reduce barriers to urban patients receiving primary care. Jordan’s new urgent care center will also house a mammography machine. Jordan has partnered with Highland Hospital, which will provide staff for x-ray and mammography services and the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, which, together with Highland, will fund purchase of the new mammography equipment for Jordan. Offering mammography services at Jordan is something Dr. Wiefling is excited about.
In 2005, while also working as a physician in Honduras, she sought out the Anthony L. Jordan Health Center after “hearing about it from many people I respected.” The Anthony L. Jordan Health Center is an independent, federally qualified community health center with numerous locations in the City of Rochester (Lake Avenue, Genesee Street, Holland Street, Upper Falls Blvd. and Plymouth Avenue) It serves about 28,000 patients a year via: adolescent medicine, behavioral health, dentistry, optometry, family and internal medicine, podiatry, prevention and primary care, laboratory and pharmacy services, OB/GYN, pediatrics, and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program. The center, founded forty years ago, bears the name of the late Dr. Anthony L. Jordan, a progressive and humanitarian minded physician who said: “The doors of doctors’ offices should be open to all, whether they have money or not.” That is a philosophy Dr. Wiefling believes in strongly. Once she entered Jordan in 2005 she knew she found her home. Jordan needed work, though, and Dr. Wiefling – ever the hard worker – was up to the task. While the foundation of caring and service to all was palpable when she joined the team, the structure needed re-building.
“Having a mammography machine where our patients live is so important,” Dr. Wiefling said. “Our patients often have limited resources and don’t have access to transportation to drive all over the city for a mammogram.” Dr. Wiefling believes a mammography machine at Jordan will increase the number of patients getting mammograms – and that, in turn, should decrease mortality. The American Cancer Society’s 2012 Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts and Figures backs that: In order to further reduce breast cancer mortality, it is important to improve access to screening; rates of mammography use continue to be low among those with low-income levels, recent immigrants, and individuals who lack health insurance coverage. Access barriers to screening may lead to more advancedstage breast cancer diagnosis and poorer survival. Programs and policies that both promote and enable access to mammography screening for low-income uninsured and underinsured women need to be enhanced and supported. “At Jordan we believe in helping women live their own lives,” Dr. Wiefling said. “And to do that, you have to make medical care like mammograms accessible and easy.” And, while Dr. Wiefling has grown and will continue to build Jordan, she has never abandoned the reason she went into medical practice to begin with: patients. “I love my patients,” Dr. Wiefling said. “I do everything I do for them. They make doing all the work I do so easy.”
rochesterWomanMag.com :: october 2012
Two common questions I am asked by patients and friends are “What causes breast cancer?” and “How do I prevent it?
Reproductive History - Menstruating before age 12, menopause after age 55,
Today, about one of every eight women in the United States can expect to be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. But we can significantly impact the outcomes:
Radiation Treatments - Unavoidable high doses of radiation to the chest, such as during treatment for Hodgkin’s disease increases breast cancer risk especially if treatment occurred during breast development.
Minimize Controllable Risk Factors
While the exact causes of breast cancer are unknown, factors shown to increase risk include: Alcohol Consumption - Women who regularly drink more than 3-6 drinks
weekly, more than two glasses of alcohol a day, or are chronic binge drinkers have higher rates of breast cancer than those who drink in moderation or not at all.
Excessive Weight - Obesity, particularly after menopause, seems to increase
the risk of breast cancer - possibly due to increased estrogen produced in fat cells. Maintaining healthy weight through diet and exercise may aid in preventing a host of health problems, including breast cancer.
Hormone Therapy - Combination hormone replacement therapy is thought
to contribute to breast cancer risk. Consider using these therapies for the shortest possible time in the lowest doses, or using alternative treatments options.
Good News About Breast Feeding & Oral Contraceptives: Studies have shown that breastfeeding can lower the risk of breast cancer. Current evidence also suggests that oral contraceptive use does not significantly increase risk, and if used for five consecutive years in your 20-30s, may decrease your risk of ovarian cancer. Be Aware of Risk Factors You Can’t Change
Just being aware of certain factors can make a difference in prevention and risk reduction. Talk to your physician about any of the following:
or having children late or not at all, are factors that increase risk.
DES - Women who took diethylstilbestrol (DES) in the 1940s to 1960s to prevent
miscarriage, or who were exposed in utero, may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
Early Detection - The most powerful way to improve your odds against breast cancer is early detection. Breast cancer survival is strongly related to stage at diagnosis. Current data suggests the five-year survival rate from Stage 0 breast cancer is over 90%, while five-year survival at Stage 4 is 15%. While early detection isn’t the only factor, it is a major one.
Two important detection are:
Imaging - Mammograms are still our best tool to detect breast cancer early. The American Cancer Society, as well as other specialty groups concerned with early detection, recommend mammograms starting at age 40. Women at high risk, including those with very dense breasts, may benefit from additional, complementary tests such as MRI and ultrasound. Physical Exam - Physical exams are critical to support early detection. At each
exam, your doctor should physically check for suspicious lumps, skin or nipple changes, or unusual nipple discharge that occurs without manipulation. Regular self-exams are also important. Women who practice breast self-awareness are more likely to notice and report changes earlier than those who do not − resulting in faster detection and treatment.
A Personal History of Breast Cancer or High Risk Lesions Age and Gender - Breast cancer occurs in women of all ages, and even men,
Treatment - If you or a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer, don’t panic.
Family History - A family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, certain cancer syndromes and gene mutations place you at higher risk for breast cancer.
Breast cancer is common and scary, but awareness of risk factors, proactive steps towards a healthy lifestyle and screening, combined with medical skill and expertise help us improve the odds every day.
but is much more common in women over age 50.
With today’s state-of-the-art treatments, there’s an excellent chance of surviving the disease. Once diagnosed, be sure to quickly seek out treatment with a team of compassionate, knowledgeable caregivers that you trust.
rochesterWomanMag.com :: october 2012
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
When she tells people about her work as an oncology social worker, Sandra Sabatka tends to receive the same reaction from everyone she meets. They always comment “that must be such a sad, hard job,” she says. “And I answer the same every time,” says Sabatka, LMSW and Senior Social Worker at Wilmot Cancer Center. “I find it a privilege to assist people at a difficult time in their life. If I can relieve even a small burden for them - I feel that I have made this experience a bit easier. I have learned so much more from my patients than I could ever imagine. They have such tremendous strength, fortitude, grace and hope and I am honored that they allow me to be a small part of their journey.” Over 12 million people in the United States are living with a cancer diagnosis. Highly regarded are those who dedicate their careers to cancer research and the teams of doctors, nurses and surgeons who specialize in oncology. Far less is known about the field of oncology social work, which helps to manage the often equally devastating emotional impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment for patients and their families. Oncology social workers are skilled at using a biopsychosocial approach, says Sabatka. This means that they strive to understand the “whole” person and all of the many ways a cancer diagnosis can impact a person’s life. “We understand the physical issues but also the stress that affects patients and their families psychologically, financially, socially - and the overall impact on their life,” she says. “We seek to help patients cope with their diagnosis and treatment, remove barriers to care, communicate with their family, their health care team, employer and other people in their life. We look at a patient’s strengths and work to mobilize them during a time of crisis.” Some of the daily challenges in oncology social work revolve around addressing the financial burden that a cancer diagnosis can have on a patient and their family. Many patients are not financially prepared for an unexpected diagnosis. Social workers make patients aware of available resources and help aid in the understanding of the intricacies of insurance coverage. Accessing financial assistance and optimizing resources for patients is a priority, says Susan Nelson, Director of Complementary Services and Social Work at Pluta Cancer Center. Access to care can be challenging when insurance companies fail to cover certain chemotherapies or require an unaffordable co-pay or deductible. Some patients even benefit from assistance in finding transportation or affording gas money to simply make it to their treatments. “The most significant challenge facing oncology is the same as in health care in general: poor access to all medical science has to offer. There just aren’t enough strategies to get patients all that could help them because of cost,” says Therese O’Connor, LMSW and Social Worker at Lipson Cancer Center at Rochester General Hospital. “Insurance covers less and less every year with the majority of patients having huge co-pays and deductibles that average Americans simply can’t afford.” An example of this is oral chemotherapy, says O’Connor. Medical advancements now allow for chemotherapies in pill form as opposed to the traditional IV treatment, but patients can’t afford $2400 a month at the pharmacy to get it. In addition to working to alleviate the financial stress of a cancer diagnosis, oncology social workers strive to ease the emotional impact of the disease and its treatments, and offer resources such as massage therapy, acupuncture, nutritional counseling, Tai Chi, yoga, support groups, and cooking classes for patients and caregivers. “We recognize that there are many paths to healing,” says Sabatka. “We seek to provide education, support research, foster an environment of open
communication, and develop programs that honor the whole person - body, mind, and spirit.” Participation in organizations such as the Association of Oncology Social Workers (AOSW) is critical in keeping up to date with skill building, national resources and trends, and networking, says Nelson. AOSW is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the enhancement of psychosocial services to people with cancer and their families. The organization was created in 1984 by social workers interested in oncology and by existing national cancer organizations. AOSW now has over 1000 current members who embrace the AOSW Mission: “to advance excellence in the psychosocial care of persons with cancer, their families, and caregivers through networking, education, advocacy, research and resource development.” Through conferences, specialty certifications, partnerships and educational programming, AOSW and other such organizations help to recognize the importance of oncology social work in cancer care and advance the excellence of this care. Any type of social work can be hard to simply leave behind at the end of the work day - and oncology social work can become truly personal. Upon her own mother’s breast cancer diagnosis in 1994, Nelson decided to transition into the role of oncology social work and Sabatka became interested in the specialty after dealing with her mother and other family members’ cancer diagnoses. As a result of her profession, Sabatka says she tries to make the most of every day. Her mother passed away in 2009. “I truly understand what it is like to be a caregiver and the potential negative impact of this disease,” she says. “I also have a tremendous amount of hope. As cancer survival rates increase, I am amazed at how many more treatments we have available for patients then when I first started 12 years ago.” As the first oncology social worker hired at Rochester General years ago, O’Connor learned some profound lessons - many of which she is bringing home to her own children. “Working in the cancer field has taught me to be incredibly grateful for all the positives in life, and to teach my children that as well,” says O’Connor. “I’ve also learned that it’s a privilege to be able to take control of things I can control. Sometimes cancer still wins despite a person’s best efforts to make improvements to his or her health.” “Life is not about the time that you have - but how you choose to spend your time, “ says Nelson. “Oncology social work has and continues to teach me life lessons,” she says. “Witnessing what my patients experience has taught me to live in the moment, love and cherish those close to you and to not take anything for granted.” The role of the oncology social worker is anticipated to continue to grow amid changes in healthcare reform and increased focus on the development of cancer survivorship plans and clinics. Social workers are highly regarded by their medical colleagues and considered a vital part of any cancer care team. The capacity of oncology social work to enhance medical care and advance healing through treatment of the “whole” patient is now considered critical to care. “One of my patient’s mothers gifted me with a beautiful sign for my office that says Believe,” says Sabatka. “It serves as daily reminder to maintain hope so I can provide support and encouragement to our patients.” These gifts offered through oncology social work can often ease the pains that traditional medicine can’t touch.
rochesterWomanMag.com :: october 2012
Marci Hochman Fourteen Year Survivor
By: Ashley Cooper | Photo by Jenniffer Merida
The story begins in 1946 in the wake of World War II. The holocaust has left Elli Gupp, then just 16 years old, an orphan. Having survived, Elli and her grandmother safely immigrated to Rochester, New York where they were determined to begin a new life. Elli eventually married, gave birth to two children, and became a registered nurse at University of Rochester. She was also heavily involved in her community-part of her deeply-rooted value system that would be passed down to her children. At the age of 41, Ellie was diagnosed with the breast cancer that took her life four years later. Profoundly Adored by friends and family, Elli’s passing proved to be a significant loss for many…especially for her daughter, Marci Hochman. Strangely enough, Hochman was 40 years old when diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 1998. By December 23rd, she would undergo a lumpectomy. As Hochman’s cancer proved to be graded high, she opted to engage in aggressive chemotherapy. This would mean going in for four rounds of treatment at three weeks apart. She would also endure six weeks of radiation. Hochman recalls this grueling process as being “tortuous.” “I was totally wiped out and exhausted,” she says, describing her routine. “I did chemo on Thursday, slept all day Friday, was ‘okay’ on Saturday, recovering by Sunday and back to work by Monday.” Luckily, Hochman’s company, now known as ‘Ellucian’ eagerly accommodated her needs. They also respected Hochman’s request to keep her diagnosis private in its initial stages. Inevitably, Hochman would lose her hair-a side effect of chemotherapy that she could not hide, especially from her two young daughters, Liz and Michelle. Hochman and her husband Robert prepared their children for her breast cancer experience in such a way as not to alarm them. “We did everything we could to make their lives as normal as possible,” says Hochman, “We didn’t want them to be bothered by this.” Hochman recalls watching the 90’s television drama ‘Providence’ when one of her daughters witnessed a character on the show dying from breast cancer. “She looked at me and asked, ‘You can die from breast cancer?’ I wanted to call the channel and say, ‘Wait a minute! I didn’t go there with my kids yet!’ There are the things that you don’t tell your kids but they find out in other ways.” Hochman is known for maintaining her positive, proactive demeanor throughout the duration of the treatment. “I knew I had two kids and I had to be there for them,” she says. “I got through it by not dwelling on it.” She believes that her unwavering spirit is one of the reasons she remains cancer-free today. Hochman says at the time of her diagnosis, her radiologist told her, “I’m looking at you-you’ve got an upbeat attitude-you’re going to fly through this!” Hochman also credits her friends and family as part of her solid support system; they fueled her enthusiasm for gaining victory (continued on page 48)
rochesterWomanMag.com::::october october2012 2012 rochesterWomanMag.com
“ I’m surrounded by an amazing team of caregivers, and they, along with the patients, truly inspire me everyday.”
Director of Development and Marketing, Pluta Cancer Center By Ashley Cooper | Photo by Jenniffer Merida
Pluta Cancer Center, founded by the Pluta family in 1975, holds the title of being the first independent, not-for-profit cancer treatment center in New York State. Today the Center maintains the same value, fiercely protecting the patient-oriented philosophy that was responsible for its success in its earliest years. Pluta Cancer Center, now located at Red Creek Drive in Henrietta, provides a multitude of services customized to suit each patient’s unique needs, doubtlessly adding in making the Center stand out even further in the community. The one-of-a-kind treatment center even hosts a list of complementary services ranging from support groups, nutritional counseling, and massage therapy to offering free yoga, tai chi, and cooking classes. Unquestionably, the outstanding assemblage of caregivers and staff members are chiefly responsible for the Pluta Cancer Center’s highly revered reputation. Former YNN news anchor Amy Young has recently assumed the position of Director of Development and Marketing at Pluta Cancer Center. Young brings her “people-person” personality to her new role from television to development. “It’s been very rewarding so far,” says Young. “I’m learning every day from my knowledgeable and compassionate leadership. I’m surrounded by an amazing team of caregivers, and they, along with the patients, truly inspire me everyday.” As Director of Development and Marketing, one of Young’s primary tasks is to orchestrate fundraising for the complementary services the Center offers. Young explains that she’s believed her “compassion, creativity, and a love for people” will serve equally as helpful in her new career in development. Young brings a strong network and sense of community but is quick to admit that she is “developing a new set of tools.” Young’s family-oriented values are also strongly in tandem with the Center’s. While fund-raising is a new territory for Young, she is motivated to persevere in this role because she finds the work to be remarkably meaningful. “I believe, at the end of the day, that it’s all about people,” says Young. “Knowing that the monies that I helped to raise for the Pluta Cancer Center foundation are, in turn, handed right back into the Center to help the patients in need is what’s most rewarding.”
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Young explains that Pluta Cancer Center is coming off the heels of its signature ‘Emerald Ball.’ Interestingly, the event was also organized with the talents of the patients in mind. It concluded to be highly successful, as more than $1.3 million in funds was raised on the evening of September 8 due to the generous contributions of the donors. Of fundraising ventures, Young says, “I’m able to connect with people, spend time with them, find out where their interests lie, etc. Most have either been touched by or are struggling with cancer themselves. The more you open up that compassion, that dialogue, the more you find people to be extremely generous. It comes from a very good place deep in their hearts.” Young also explains that she is eager to give back and stand with a significant cause as she lost her father to cancer in 1995. “[Working with Pluta Cancer Center] gives me the time and opportunity to do so,” says Young. (continued on page 48)
“I ’m alive today because someone once raised some money, and so it’s my turn to give back.”
Jenna Hollenbeck Hair Stylist, Musician
By Nicole Shein I photo by Robert Krzaczek
Two cancer diagnoses, a 7-centimeter tumor, 28 surgeries, and lucky encounter with the right person at the right time. These are the numbers that describe, but do not define Jenna Hollenbeck. The chance encounter happened when stylist and musician Hollenbeck, then 25, had just switched hair salons. After a customer mentioned that her husband was a gynecologist, Hollenbeck joked that perhaps he could solve the mystery of her ongoing urinary tract infections, which were not responding to antibiotic treatment. After she described her symptoms, the woman jumped out of the chair—her hair still covered in dye and wrapped in foils—and called her husband, insisting that he get Hollenbeck an appointment ASAP. At that appointment, the gynecologist ordered an ultrasound of Hollenbeck’s kidneys, which were clear—but the scan also revealed a 7-cm tumor on her right ovary. “One week later, they took out a two-pound tumor,” says Hollenbeck. “If I hadn’t switched salons, if I hadn’t gotten that woman as a customer, if it hadn’t come up in conversation what her husband did for a living…I would be dead today.” The surgery, along with courses of radiation and chemotherapy, was successful, but cancer wasn’t done with Hollenbeck yet. Several years later, she began experiencing severe gastrointestinal distress, including extreme constipation. After a series of ineffectual, condescending suggestions from doctors—just try to pass gas, eat more fiber—a nurse practitioner pulled Hollenbeck aside and referred her to a particular surgeon. “He looked at my medical records and said, ‘If we don’t take your colon out now, it’s going to rupture and you’re going to die.’” The surgeon not only removed several feet of Hollenbeck’s intestines, but also her gall bladder and her spleen. “Ever since then, I have grabbed life by the balls,” explains Hollenbeck, who works at Fairport’s Thomas Austen Salon. “I bought a motorcycle, took belly dancing lessons, joined a roller derby team, started a rock band, and dove into fundraising for the American Cancer Society.” “I’ve lost a lot of very special people to cancer and there aren’t many people out there who haven’t. I’m alive today because someone once raised some money, and so it’s my turn to give back.” Hollenbeck is heavily involved with the Webster chapter of Relay for Life—an annual fundraising event that honors survivors, commemorates those who have been lost to cancer, and encourages participants to fight back by advocating for their own health and wellness. (continued on page 48)
rochester rochesterWomanMag.com WomanMag.com :: october :: october 2012 2012
over cancer. “My friends were awesome-you know who you are! [My husband] Rob was a trooper. He did everything. He did the laundry, went to Wegmans, picked up the kids, he shaved my head, he changed my bandages; he was really, really wonderful.”
Young is looking forward to upcoming events that Pluta Cancer Center is hosting in the future including the Tres Chic Fashion Show, held on November 29, at the Monroe Country Club, and the Tree of Hope lighting for the holiday season.
“Doctors are fallible,” says Hollenbeck. “They make mistakes and they don’t know everything—you know your own body better than they do. If you feel that something is wrong, keep pushing until someone takes you seriously.”
Young most enjoys spending time with her family, first and foremost-“Not just my nuclear family, but my extended family. I have a strong support system. We’re very close,” she says. Young resides with her husband and two children in Penfield.
Hollenbeck’s other passion is music. Growing up in a small town, she says, “Music was my best friend and my everything. I was really dorky and I was the white-trash kid from a broken home, but I had music from an early age.”
By April of 1999, Hochman completed her treatment and by that August, she was able to remove her wig. In 2000, Hochman was encouraged to undergo genetic testing. She discovered that she was a carrier of the BRCA2 mutation. Her mother, of Askenazi Jewish descent, also carried the gene. In November of that year, Hochman had a double mastectomy, as well as plastic surgery for reconstructive silicone implants. “That was a good thing,” assures Hochman, “It was hard, but it was good.” Three years later, Hochman’s doctors advised she arrange a preventative oophorectomy, as carriers of the BRCA2 genetic mutation are more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
Hollenbeck started playing instruments--flute, clarinet, oboe, guitar, and piano and eventually a dozen additional instruments. Now, she concentrates on voice, performing as one-half of the acoustic duo He Said/She Said. Music saved her--not just as a child but later, as she battled cancer and all the many struggles that any woman faces in life.
Hochman, now a ‘Reach for Recovery’ volunteer, has been cancer-free for fourteen years and counting. In light of her treatments and massive surgeries, Hochman says her perspective of life is much different. “I think it’s made me a better person. I’ve learned your good days are good days. Surround yourself with family. I’m a better person- I just sit back and I look in my life, and I love it…I’m very content and happy with what I’ve got.”
Asked if she would change her history with cancer, given the chance, Hollenbeck thinks hard for a moment, then shakes her head slowly. “I probably wouldn’t,” she muses. “It sounds so trite and like a canned response, but if I hadn’t had cancer, I would not be the person I am now, and I really like who I am now.”
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“Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” is the American Cancer Society’s (ACS’) nationwide series of walking events to raise funds and awareness to end breast cancer. Across the country, more than 270 “Making Strides” walks occur each year, and each one is an opportunity to unite as a community in honoring breast cancer survivors, in raising awareness about what individuals can do to stay well, in raising money to help fight the disease with breast cancer research, information and services and in providing access to mammograms for women who need them. Walks range in distance from 3 to 5 miles. Who Can Participate?
Anyone can participate from senior citizens to school-age children! The success of “Making Strides” events depends on individuals who commit to raising funds, the donors themselves and generous sponsors. Friends, families, neighbors, classmates, and coworkers can form teams. Organizations/businesses can also sponsor teams. Or, you can walk as an individual. How Much Does “Making Strides” Raise For ACS?
Since 1993, eight million walkers across the United States have raised more than $460 million to help fight breast cancer through “Making Strides” events. In 2011 alone, one million walkers across the country collected more than $60 million to help fight this disease. Is There A Registration Fee Or A Minimum Amount To Raise?
Most “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walks do not have registration fees and there is no minimum amount required to raise in order to participate. However, walkers do raise much-needed funds to help the ACS save lives and fight breast cancer. Each walker is encouraged to raise at least $100, but the hope is they can set an even higher goal. People who can’t make a donation or who aren’t able to ask others to contribute are asked to come out and show support by walking in their local event. How Do I Turn In The Money I Raise?
You can turn in your money on the day of the event or your supporters can donate online through ACS’s secure Web site. If you have not finished collecting your funds by the day of the event, or if you are unable to attend, send your contribution form and remaining donations to your local ACS office. Find your local event, and sign up to start raising money online. Here are “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walks that recently took place or are about to take place in our area: 9/30/12 - Frontier Field, Rochester, NY 9/30/12 - Waterloo Premium Outlets, Waterloo, NY 9/30/12 - Clinton Square, Syracuse, NY 9/30/12 - Niagara Square, Buffalo, NY 10/14 /12 - Watt Farms, Albion, NY 10/14 /12 - Centerway Square, Corning, NY 10/14 /12 - Jefferson County Fairgrounds, North Country If you have information, ideas, comments or suggestions for “World of Women Sports,” please contact Sarah Jane Clifford at 585/388-8686. Her e-mail is gtc@ frontiernet.net. Clifford owns and operates The Gymnastics Training Center of Rochester, Inc., 2051 Fairport Nine Mile Point Rd., Penfield, NY 14526.
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
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Meanwhile, not far away from home, is an Inn near a crystal clear, cloud-reflected lake. Take in a deep, expansive breath. Eager hospitality, farm-to-table dining, a world-class spa and a fire lit room are all yours, in your own time. You can stroll a garden, hike a forest, or quietly soak in a deep, claw foot tub. Just make a little space for yourself on your handheld digital calendar, and voilà. You’re here. Skaneateles, New York - 315.685.5006 - mirbeau.com
Mirbeau Inn & Spa is a proud sponsor of the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, Inc. “Together we will find a cure.”
rochesterWomanMag.com :: may 2012
BY TERENCE HARTNETT I PHOTO BY GENEVIEVE FRIDLEY Knowledge is power: A piece of wisdom often spoken but rarely lived out. For Ann Marie Giannino-Otis, the phrase defines a journey from championing breast cancer awareness, to becoming a patient herself, to sharing her experience with the world through an honest blog with an honest name: Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer. Ann Marie has been involved with the Komen Race for the Cure as a team captain for seven years. Her team, Cure or Bust, is always made up of family and friends. It has been the largest participating team for the past four years and also, twice it has been the biggest fundraising team. It was the morning of open registration this past May that she found a lump on her breast. Ann Marie was a passionate believer in early detection and knew she needed to see a specialist. A lumpectomy was performed and the lump was tested. It was cancerous. She was shocked to find out that the routine mammogram and sonogram that had been performed had not detected the cancer. The lump was ductal and therefore could not be detected by these conventional screenings. For Ann Marie, this was a pivotal moment. She had experienced breast cancer first through her grandmother and then through her extensive work with Race for the Cure. Even with this experience, Ann Marie was blown away. Experiencing breast cancer firsthand was a life-changer and Ann Marie felt she needed to do something to signify that. This is how Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer began. Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer was created as a way to communicate to family and an expansive circle of friends exactly what she was going through. The posts are honest, straightforward and funny. They communicate what Ann Marie is going through in her own voice, such as this post: “Tomorrow I have the fabulous opportunity to be injected with radioactive dye. Doesn’t that sound great? NOT!!!” As well as bringing a smile and a laugh to a life-altering situation, the posts educate and encourage women to be breast-cancer conscious. Her latest post is focused on early detection, clearly stating, “early detection saved my life from stupid dumb breast cancer.” Although the initial intention of the blog was to communicate with a close circle of friends and family, the blog’s message reached further than that. Ann Marie started to receive emails and blog comments from other women with breast cancer as well as other forms of cancer. When explaining the success of the blog, all Ann Marie had to say was, “people can relate to you when you’re honest.” Among others, Ann Marie heard from a 16-year-old girl with bone cancer. She had seen photos on Ann Marie’s blog that were taken before her mastectomy surgery and her eye was drawn to Ann Marie’s shoes. Ann Marie posted a photo of the bright pink pumps she was going to wear into surgery, her “attitude shoes.” Ann Marie’s newest friend thought that her attitude was admirable and wanted to follow suit. Soon after, the young girl received a packaged arrived for her from Ann Marie. Inside was a pair of pink pumps, her own pair of “attitude shoes.” Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer has attracted a following among breast cancer survivors, patients and those who believe in early detection of breast cancer just like Ann Marie. “They want help, they want to hear the real side to it… and you need that. What’s going to happen to me, what’s really going to happen to me?” Ann Marie and her husband, Tom Otis, have four boys, and all five of the men in her life fully support the blog. Although the eldest of the boys is 12 years old, all four of them have seen the blog, including the pictures of their mother after the mastectomy. “They’ve seen all of it, they need to be aware,” she said. Ann Marie has a lesson to offer anyone she comes into contact with, whether in person or though her blog: Knowledge is power. And her husband Tom could not have put it better. “Some people would crumble under the pressure, and she’s turning it into something that’s helpful for other people,” Tom said. “She’s made it bigger than herself.”
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Learn more about Ann Marie on her Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer blog, Stupiddumbbreastcancer.blogspot.com.
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Rochester Woman Magazine
From the Ground Fashion Show PHOTOGRAPHY BY Rome Celli
Strolling down a runway made of grass while hundreds of people watched, local models strutted their stuff in a show filled with environmentally friendly fashions. Shawn Dunwoody was the creator of this re-purposed and re-used fashion-themed event which featured styles designed by local artists and crafted out of everything from product labels, burlap bags to newspapers and magazines. One of the highlights of the show was a dress made from past issues of Rochester Woman Magazine designed by Melissa Murphy.
The White Party for Aids Care Rochester PHOTOGRAPHY BY Chris Cove
On September 8th over 300 guests put on their best white dresses, suits ensembles and gathered at the historic, and elegant Century Club for Rochesterâ€™s for the First Annual White Party to benefit Aids Care Rochester. Guests enjoyed live entertainment by local musicians, mingled with Rochesterâ€™s famous drag queens, tarot card readings, danced in the ballroom, had delicious food and spirits tastings and more.
CAP Family Walk
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Staff Photographer
On a picture-perfect fall morning, hundreds of walkers gathered at Ontario Beach Park for the annual CAP Family Walk to raise money for Children Awaiting Parents. The walk helped CAP celebrate 40 years of helping kids in foster care find permanent, loving homes while raising over $14,000. Before the event, walkers enjoyed breakfast, face painting, balloon animals and got started with a live performance by Camp Stella Maris. Then, as walkers were finish, Rochester Athetic Club instructed Zumba on the Beach. This family walk has grown to become CAP’s 2nd largest annual fundraiser.
An Artrageous Affair ORGANIZATION: Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester TIME: 6:00 p.m. WHERE: Rochester Plaza Hotel WEBSITE: www.bccr.org
Walk to End Alzheimers ORGANIZATION: The Alzheimer’s Association TIME: 9:00 a.m. WHERE: Corn Hill Historic Neighborhood WEBSITE: www.alz.org
Shear Ego international school Cut-a-thon & grand re-opening Time: 5:30-8:00pm Who: Free for the community to attend What: Get pink extensions, have your hair cut, get mini services, enjoy wine and cheese, live music and incredible raffle prizes all to benefit BCCR. Where: Shear Ego International School, Hudson Ave.
10th Annual Wine and Micro Brew Tasting ORGANIZATION: Bivona Child Advocacy Center TIME: 5:30-8:30 p.m. WHERE: Memorial Art Gallery WEBSITE: www.bivonacac.org
Brawl for Breast Cancer ORGANIZATION: BCCR TIME: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. WHERE: Skylark Lounge WEBSITE: www.bccr.org
Al Sigl Community Walk About ORGANIZATION: Al Sigl Commuity of Agencies WHERE: Eastview Mall WEBSITE: www.alsigl.org
Micro-pigmentation or permanent cosmetics as it is more commonly known is a tattoo or permanent pigmentation placed in the dermis layer of the skin, resembling makeup.The procedure is typically performed digitally making it much safer, faster and more comfortable. Most everyone is a candidate for treatment; men, women, young and old can benefit from permanent cosmetics. Treatment options, as well as the reasons for receiving these treatments are endless. Many people with health conditions, including alopecia, baldness, vitiligo, scarring or those going through chemotherapy are some common recipients of permanent cosmetics. Other individuals choose micro-pigmentation due to allergies to cosmetics or to enhance their natural beauty. Whatever the reason, it is critical you choose the correct practitioner for you. This is a long term investment. Your practitioner should be motivated as well as dedicated to the latest techniques and products. While being educated in safety, design and color choices, your practitioner should be able to answer all of your questions while making you as comfortable as possible. After researching and choosing your artist, this person will guide you through the rest of your journey. Color choices, shapes, sizes and applications are all important aspects in which you will have an input. Each practitioner has different methods, thoughts and strengths; this combined with your desires will ensure a beautiful outcome.
Throughout my career, I have found most clients have the same common questions. Does It Hurt? As most people have different tolerances for discomfort, all practitioners choose to use some form of topical anesthetics. Technology has allowed for great advances in strength and durability in pain management, making your experience much more tolerable. How Long Does It Last? Again, this is dependent on each individual as longevity is affected by sun exposure, chemicals, aftercare, and the pigments used. UV exposure is the number one factor in pre-mature fading, some people may choose to have a color refresh after several years. Cost Of Treatment? This ranges widely and is effected by location, skill level of practitioner and the setting in which they work. What Does Aftercare Consist Of? Each practitioner has their own set of guidelines to follow and post procedure products to recommend. This usually consists of a mild cleanser and topical healing agent. How Long Does Take? This also varies greatly depending on the application method, skill of the practitioner as well as the procedure being performed. A procedure typically lasts no more than one hour and thirty minutes.
Brandon H. Lane
Master Hairstylist at Isabella Spa~Salon located in Geneva, NY is now certified in Permanent Cosmetics. Isabella Spa~Salon is now offering this service exclusive to the area. Permanent Make-up is a process of implanting pigments just under the skin in the dermal layer. Modern techniques, using the latest and safest equipment, ensure quality results. Whether it is for ongoing health, or just for ease and convenience, permanent make-up is a Beautiful investment in yourself!
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
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When I found out I had breast cancer, it came as a complete surprise. Although my family and friends could sympathize and worry with me, it was the women at BCCR who truly understood. I am grateful every day for BCCR. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
This clearly would have been a different experience if it had not been for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. I received my diagnosis of breast cancer on August 27, 2002 and appeared on their step on September 5th, right after Labor Day. I never left. There isn’t a person I know who was ever prepared to make the life changing
1995 was a difficult year for me as I lost my husband to a rare, untreatable form of cancer. Not long after, my own journey with cancer began around the end of that same year, four months after my husband died. In November I discovered a lump in my right breast that had changed. I had it checked the first part of January 1996, because I was so insistent that it was malignant. After a mammogram, ultrasound, and a needle biopsy the results were positive and the doctor recommended I find a surgeon as soon as possible. I opted for a lumpectomy, which was done on February 14, 1996, 12 lymph nodes were removed, all were negative. Praise God. As soon as I was healed from the surgery, I started the three months of radiation, then went on Tamoxifin for a little over five years.
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
In November of 2002, I discovered a new lump in the same right breast, which turned out to be a different type of cancer. We decided a mastectomy was the best option. It seems that each time I feel unusually well, something else (cancer) pops up somewhere else. It is a chronic disease. There have been more treatments since 2002 but throughout this whole process I’ve met some wonderful people, excellent doctors, made new friends, learned you have to be your own advocate, be thankful for each, and every day God has given us. My family has grown much closer throughout our cancer journey that is still continuing. Prayers, love of and from family, and a positive attitude has brought me this far.
decisions necessary in order to go forward with breast cancer treatment. The depth of understanding, compassion, knowledge and support provided by this organization pulled me through the scariest time of my life. Now I am giving back as an ardent advocate for women sharing a similar journey. They need to know there is a place of support they can count on. A place they can trust with women who have walked this walk.
I would like all women to be aware that annual mammograms don’t show everything. Many of us, especially pre-menopausal women have dense breasts. I had annual mammograms from the age of 34 because my mother died of breast cancer. Then when my sister was diagnosed in 2002, my doctor set it up so that I would be seen every 3 months by either her or my gynecologist or the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic. I also had two mammograms with ultra sounds in the previous year.
Four years ago, at the age of 29, I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. My mom was diagnosed a little over a year prior, and was found to be a carrier of the BRCA2 gene. After I found out about the gene, I went to my doctor to see what I should do. She told me that I was way too young and that I shouldn’t worry about it. Four months later, I found a lump in my left breast. I went back to my doctor, hoping that it was nothing. She set me up with a mammogram two days later followed by a biopsy that same day. The doctor said that she was positive that we were looking at cancer. Further tests would show that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes and into my bones. The first year after being diagnosed was rough — hormone therapy, followed by six months of chemo, surgery to remove both of my breasts and my ovaries, then six weeks of radiation treatments. I now see my oncologist every two months, and I receive treatment for my bones every four months.
And yet, I discovered the lump. It was large and had spread to my lymph nodes. So my message is: be constantly aware of any changes in your breasts, not just lumps. My lobular cancer was more of a thickening than a lump. I will always be grateful to my friends at the BCCR because it helped so much to meet other women who had experienced what I was facing and had their lives back again!
I have a CT scan twice a year to monitor the disease. So far, everything has been stable (I say as I knock on wood)! I would not be where I am today without the love and support of my family and friends. Most importantly, I owe everything to my husband Jason. He truly is my rock. Together, we have maintained a positive attitude and the mantra that “We will beat this!” In four years, he has been with me for every doctor’s visit, treatment, and scan. Every time I tell him that I love him, it brings tears to my eyes because I am reminded of all he has done for me. One of my co-workers said the most eyeopening thing to me just a couple of weeks ago. She said, “I don’t think of you as a person with breast cancer. I think of you as Lindsey, the girl with three dogs and a wonderful husband. You love the outdoors, you love to cook and knit-cancer doesn’t define you as a person.” That statement totally changed my outlook. Cancer does not define me. I simply won’t let it.
April 2008! Happy 45th Birthday! Routine mammogram – check. Call back for more films – check. THAT phone call – check. Surgery – check. 33 days of radiation – check. July 2008 – Treatment complete and back to “normal,” right? But now what? I was truly at a loss as I tried to hop back in to the “normal” world that I knew before April. The world was moving ahead without me – there was something missing. I had the amazing support of my husband, family and friends. How can I possibly repay them for all that they have done? As quickly as I those words went through my head, it dawned on me...maybe I could help others. I began volunteering for a local breast cancer organization helping with fundraising
activities to raise money for emergency financial assistance to those diagnosed with breast cancer. A volunteer opportunity that I believe defines who I am today – not only a survivor of four years and counting, but the opportunity to give back to my community. Through those activities I have met many incredible people – all with stories of mothers, sisters, daughters and friends newly diagnosed with breast cancer. And while it might have helped them, they’ve actually given me a great deal more…new friendships, renewed friendships and a little piece of their hearts when they trusted me to hear their thoughts, their fears and their dreams. Little do they know that not only did I hear them I was watching them really begin to BELIEVE in themselves. rochesterWomanMag.com :: october 2012
Ridge Road Fire Department is Goin’ Pink! The Ridge Road Fire Department is going pink all October long! In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, RRFD firefighters will exchange their regular duty shirts for blue t-shirts with pink writing and be selling breast cancer awareness t-shirts for $10 throughout the month of October. All proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. Call (585) 227-2124 or visit the Headquarters Fire Station at 1299 Long Pond Road for more information.
Nightmare Manor presents Scaring and Caring for Breast Cancer Get scared for a good cause! Nightmare Manor presents Scaring and Caring for Breast Cancer on Monday, October 8, 2012 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in Southtown Plaza. Rochester’s scariest haunted house will donate a portion of the night’s ticket sales, as well as the proceeds from some “spooktacular” raffle prizes, to benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. For more information visit www.nightmaremanor.com
60 august 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com 60 october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Pink Ribbon Bagels at Panera Bread Starting October 1, all local Panera Bread Café locations will be featuring their Pink Ribbon Bagel in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The bagel is made with cherry chips, dried cherries and cranberries, vanilla, honey, and brown sugar. A portion of the proceeds will benefit a local breast cancer charity. For more information, visit any of Panera Bread’s seven locations in the Greater Rochester area.
Vote! 2012 Pink Glove Dance II Video Competition Fairport Baptist Home (FBH) staff and volunteers have come together to create an original music video for the 2012 Pink Glove Dance II Video Competition, which awards the submission with the most votes $10,000 for the breast cancer charity of their choice. Set to “You Won’t Dance Alone” by Best Day Ever, the FBH video hopes to get the most votes, so they can donate their winnings to the Rochester American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery Program. Voting is open from October 12 to 26 at www.pinkglovedance.com/ competition.585-797-4967 I www.annsings.com
BRAWL for Breast Cancer! Join BRAWL (Broads Regional Arm Wrestling League) for a night of arm wrestling, music, and fun to benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. The event will take place on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 8 p.m. at Skylark Lounge, located at 40 South Union Street, Rochester. For more information, contact the Skylark Lounge at (585) 270-8106.
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
::fitness By Colleen Flaherty
As I conversed with a client of mine, she shared that she had been researching and following an “anti-inflammatory diet,” and what really intrigued her was that these foods are also low in acidity (or alkaline) and found to prohibit or eliminate cancerous cells. Let’s put those things together: anti-inflammatory foods = alkaline foods = cancer fighting foods. So how does this affect you?
Fucoidan is anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-oxidative; kelp also is high in fiber. Tumeric:
Curcumin is anti-inflammatory effects much like hydrocortisone.
Many foods cause the body to be acidic. Acidity is the cause of acidosis- a major problem in western cultures. This condition, in addition to many other symptoms, decreases the body’s ability to absorb important nutrients and minerals and repair damaged cells. This acidic environment also allows tumors to thrive and makes the body more susceptible to illness and disease. Acidic Foods:
Aspartame (found in soda, gum, sweets), Coffee, Soda, Dairy, Red Meat, Corn Syrup, Tobacco1
The foods that act in opposition to acidity are alkaline forming foods or anti-inflammatory foods. Certain foods, drinks, spices and minerals keep the body within a healthy, balanced pH. As you can see above, an acidic body is extremely susceptible to disease because the body cannot repair damaged cells so tumors thrive. Women, men and children who consume a ‘typical’ Western diet are probably overweight, sluggish, sick often (colds, flus) and will only continue to deteriorate unless their food intake is drastically changed with added exercise. It’s very easy and delicious to add anti-inflammatory/cancer fighting foods to daily meals. Shoot to consume more alkaline-based foods than acidic and you will be thriving!
The following are only a handful of super foods and their important properties:
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
Wild Caught Salmon:
EPA & DHA are two potent omega 3’s. Shiitake Mushrooms:
These have immune boosting properties. Green Tea:
Flavonoids are anti-inflammatory. Papaya:
Papain is a protein digesting enzyme. Together with vitamin C & E, papaya helps reduce inflammation, improves digestion and healing from burns. Blueberries:
Antioxidant powerhouse high in phytonutrients that protects against many diseases like cancer and dementia. Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Rich supply of polyphenols that protect the heart and blood vessels from inflammation. “Monounsaturated fats in Olive Oil turns into anti-inflammatory agents by the body to lower occurrences of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.” Broccoli:
Sulforaphane helps the body to get rid of potentially carcinogenic compounds. Sweet Potato:
Is a complex carbohydrate that contains beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin B6, C and fiber.2 1 - http://rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm 2 - http://theconsciouslife.com/top-10-anti-inflammatory-foods.htm Colleen is a certified personal trainer at Fore Performance. Her blog can be found at http://babybumpacademy.wordpress.com.
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A Taste of Wayne County
Apple Tasting Tour
October 1 – 31, 2012
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the Experiences abound in Wayne County Located between Rochester and Syracuse, Wayne County is a great destination for all tastes.
Thorpe Vineyard Thorpe Vineyard, the Little Winery on the Great Lake!, produces quality wines primarily from the grapes grown in our own vineyards, a half mile from the Chimney Bluffs State Park.
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the Experiences abound in Wayne County Located between Rochester and Syracuse, Wayne County is a great destination for all tastes. 800-527-6510 www.waynecountytourism.com
october 2012 :: rochesterWomanMag.com
by ashley cooper I photo by brandon vick
“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” ~ Pearl S. Buck Buck’s words ring true for many individuals who are driven to excel in their vocation because of the personal fulfillment they receive in turn. One such gifted individual is Dr. Avice O’Connell- expert radiologist, former primary care physician, public educator, community advocate, loving wife and mother, and Director of Women’s Imaging at the Highland Breast Imaging Center. When Rochester Woman Magazine approached Dr. O’Connell for an interview in tandem with this month’s theme, she eagerly obliged. Indisputably pleasant and marked with a spirited sense of humor, Dr. O’Connell is easy to converse with—it is also evident that O’Connell is veritably passionate about what she does… Most days, you can find Dr. O’Connell at the Highland Breast Imaging Center at Red Creek in Henrietta. You may also find her at University of Rochester where she takes on the role of Professor of Clinical in the Department of Imaging Sciences. Perhaps you’ve seen her involved in organizations such as the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, or on YNN news sharing her wisdom to the masses. And if indeed Dr. O’Connell is nowhere in sight at either one of these locations, she is most likely visiting her former stomping grounds in her Ireland homeland. O’Connell studied medicine at Trinity College, University of Dublin which, as she mentioned, has just celebrated its third centennial. O’Connell and her husband, a surgeon, came to Rochester to begin their specialty training; she completed her internship and residency at Highland and Rochester General. Interestingly, O’Connell entered the medical field as a primary care physician. The O’Connells have since been planted in Rochester soil, calling it “home” for over thirty years. “We liked the jobs, liked the lifestyle, liked the people; our children were born here and it became harder and harder to move everybody back. We go home once or twice a year. Our children grew up with their summers in Ireland and had their school years here,” says O’Connell. To better accommodate her husband’s erratic hours as a surgeon, O’Connell turned to radiology with the intent to practice as a radiologist while their children were completing their education, and thereafter to return to internal medicine. However, O’Connell quickly discovered that mammography screening gave her stable scheduling she desired as a working mother, but also the opportunity to interact with patients-one of the assets she is best known for: “When someone comes in, you see them, you lay hands on them, you talk to them, and you help them with their problem. To me, it was the perfect blend of direct primary care medicine and specialty imaging to find out what was going on. So I could be-what my father wanted- a physician who took care of people, but I also had the stimulation of working with all the new technology.” O’Connell thrives on patient interaction. As a physician who specializes in women’s imaging, the diagnostic process in a patient’s life is a critical stage-also one that is best handled delicately, with care and total understanding of the patient’s individual needs. To that end, O’Connell is one of the best in her field. According to Dr. O’Connell, many patients that request a mammography with a preexisting concern are filled with fear-and understandably so. The myths and
sensationalism surrounding breast cancer in recent years can all but deplete a woman’s confidence in going in for her mammogram. O’Connell strives to ease her patients’ anxieties when they arrive for this necessary precaution. “You walk them through it,” says O’Connell. “You help set them up with all the people they need to get to in order to get to the other side so that they can look back and say, ‘Okay. It was a bump in the road, but it wasn’t a dead end. It’s nice to be able to tell people, ‘Look-this is what you’ve got, and this is what you need to do. I’ll help you through it’-that’s the best part.” O’Connell stresses that clear communication is most effective in the results process. “People will say, ‘Thank you for talking to me,’ and I say ‘That’s my job! You don’t need to thank me. You have a question, I need to answer it.’ That’s the thing with mammography. There’s two tracks. One is that you go in, you have the exam, you go home, and you get a letter. And that’s okay. But if you have a problem and need to come back, we need to talk [about it]. Or if you come in-not because you need a screening-but because you’ve got a lump-you need to be talked to. You need more than one thing-you need all kinds of things! By the time you walk out of the door, you need to know what’s going on-you don’t need to wait a week to know what the results are. We need to meet the person now and say, ‘This is what I think is going on. Here’s what we need to do.’” One of Dr. O’Connell’s greatest challenges as a radiologist is convincing women of the significance of scheduling an annual screening. She resents the controversy that arose in the previous year which challenged the charge for women to get mammograms in their 40’s. Some have speculated that it might be more suitable to delay the mammogram until a woman has reached her 50’s. O’Connell feels that the longer the mammogram is delayed, the more difficult the cancer would be to treat should it be detected. “I say, ‘Why not?’ What’s the downside? A little bit of discomfort, a little bit of anxiety-and that’s about it. The upside is if you have an early cancer, we can find it. Would you rather have found your cancer on a mammogram or wait until you can feel it?” says Dr. O’Connell. O’Connell also mentioned that many women are hesitant to perform self-breast exams because they aren’t certain of what they’re looking for. They speculate that they are doing the exam incorrectly, and therefore refrain from doing it at all. “You’re going for self-awareness more than anything else,” O’Connell says. “I think that people have to say, ‘Look. It’s my body. If I found a mole on my arm, I’d have it checked. If I found a lump in my breast, I’d have it checked.’ And you’d expect to notice a lump-you’ve just got to be aware.” For Dr. O’Connell, the most rewarding part of her vocation is being able to bring peace and clarity of mind to her patients. She admires their courage, resilience, and the invaluable wisdom that she gains from interacting with them. As one of six children living in Ireland, it did not seem likely that Dr. O’Connell would attend a university, let alone go to medical school. Her father’s unwavering belief in her was more than enough motivation for her to go on and not only succeed as a physician, helping others become victors in seemingly insurmountable situations, but to become one of the most highly-revered physicians of her time. Much to our delight, Dr. O’Connell says she has no plans to retire any time soon.
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