Even rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the 8th Annual GW Blush Luncheon to benefit the GW Mammovan. The Ritz-Carlton rolled out a pink carpet in honor of the event, and Washington DC’s only mobile mammography unit was proudly on display for tours. Dr. Robert Kelly, CEO of The GW Medical Faculty Associates welcomed a crowd of more than 200 attendees stressing the value of the van which encourages early detection of breast cancer by meeting women where they live and work regardless of ability to pay. Several patient stories were highlighted at the luncheon which included an on-site text-to-donate campaign and a silent auction.
Nora Fuentes, diagnosed after a visit to the Mammovan, spoke of her cancer journey and proudly removed a pink turban to reveal her newly grown-in hair. NBC 4 anchorwoman, Eun Yang, presided over the event, and a special tribute was read to the late journalism icon and breast cancer patient Cokie Roberts, a longtime supporter of the Blush Luncheon. The Community Service award was given to Marie Sylla-Dixon, Vice President at T-Mobile, herself a breast cancer survivor for her advocacy and support of the Mammovan. Proclamations from the Mayor’s Office and the City Council were presented to Dr. Kelly, the latter given in person by DC City Councilman Vincent Gray.
The featured speaker was Nicole Quiroga, CEO of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Interviewed by James MacGregor of the Washington Business Journal, Quiroga pointed out that more Hispanic women are diagnosed in the later stages of the disease in many cases because of access issues. She urged women in that community to take advantage of resources like the Mammovan that screen regardless of insurance. All proceeds from the luncheon go directly to the operational expenses of the van.
Learn more about the GW Mammovan.