CALEXICO – Over 150 women, dressed in pink, wearing spectacular hats atop gorgeous gowns attended a breast cancer awareness reception hosted by Calexico and the Arts Commission at the Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts Center Saturday.
The 4th annual “Pretty In Pink” women’s luncheon and fashion show featured breast cancer survivors sharing their stories, raffles, and tasty wine. The event was created primarily to raise awareness and share information of available programs.
“I love that breast survivors and people that are currently going through this illness attended. I can guarantee that we hit home at a few tables today,” said Hildy Carillo, executive director at Calexico Chamber of Commerce.
Guest speaker Rosario Duron, survivor, shared her experience on how a cancer survivor’s story in a local newspaper helped her discover she had cancer.
“Years ago, I felt a little lump the size of a grain of rice during a self-exam and immediately had a mammogram that came back negative. The lump never went away. The following year I had another mammogram and biopsy and once again it was negative. Not happy with my results for two years in a row, I was referred to a specialist, and sure enough, after having a biopsy the results were positive,” explained Duron.
“I am here to celebrate life. I have struggled with cancer on three different occasions for the past 12 years. Thanks to God I have been cancer free for five years now, and I am very happy,” said Martha Estrella, survivor.
Helen Palomino, MSW, Field Instructor for the Cancer Resource Center of the Desert, Inc. gave a presentation of services and medical assistance offered at the center.
“It’s very important that we help each other, our friends, and our community understand the importance of early detention. The more advanced the cancer is, the more challenging it is to treat,” said Palomino.
The fall fashion show was put on by Garlan’s department store in Calexico whose fashion line was modeled by Calexico residents and city staff.
“I liked walking in front of everybody and making my dress twirl. I like to model at home, but I never thought I would model in real life,” said six-year-old, Helen Gerardo.
Each guest received a bag filled with a nail polish, a cup, a pen, and a Garlan’s store coupon, who agreed to donate $10 to the Cancer Resource Center of the Desert for every coupon received.
“They are going to self-exam when they get home and who knows we might of helped someone today,” said Carillo.
Pretty In Pink was sponsored by Heffernan’s wellness program and Garlan’s.
Carillo also announced Cordova Park in Calexico will have its grand opening on November 2 and it will be equipped with exercise equipment. Cordova Park will be the first wellness park in Calexico sponsored by the Heffernan Memorial Healthcare District with two others to follow (Crummett and Nosotros parks).[envira-gallery id=”65972″]