CORDELE — In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Crisp Regional Health Services sponsored the annual “Get Your Pink On” Saturday at the Retreat at Lake Blackshear.
The event was held to honor survivors, remember those who have lost the battle and gain valuable insight on ways to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Following a welcome by Crisp Regional Hospital Chief Executive Officer Stephen Gautney and CRH medical imaging director Shelvia Koontz, a presentation was given by Dr. Sheila Southerland entitled “It’s tough being a woman.”
“It is tough being a woman,” said Southerland. “We are bombarded with the media’s image of what a woman should be. We face a lot of stresses, the toughest of which is when you have to deal with your own or a loved one’s battle with cancer.”
According to Southerland, statistics say that approximately 13 million people are affected by cancer.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” she said.
Southerland went on to describe some of the modifiable risk factors such as diet, exercise, vaccines and tobacco and alcohol usage.
Diet includes eating more fruits and veggies, avoiding red/processed meats, choosing whole grains and limiting high calorie drinks. Adults need a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise weekly. Children and teens need one hour a day, three days a week.
Other factors include controlling weight and avoiding sudden weight gain. “Even a 10% reduction in weight can have positive effects on one’s health,” she said.
Southerland also said it is important to protect the body from the sun and the eyes from ultraviolet rays.
Before offering a blessing for the brunch, Koontz recognized breast cancer survivors and asked that a moment of silence be observed in memory of those who lost the battle.
Dr. Deborah Charles gave a presentation, “Protecting the Girls” followed by an introduction of area physicians.
Afterwards, CRH employee Laura Stephens introduced Martha Lanier as the event’s keynote speaker. A breast cancer survivor and heart attack survivor, Lanier is author of the book “Pink Lemonade: Mastectomy Tips and Insights from a Breast Cancer Survivor.”
In Lanier’s presentation, “The Power of Choice: Overcoming Obstacles and Managing Life’s Stresses,” she spoke of her own experiences in how decreasing stress, increasing humor and maintaining a positive attitude helped her recover and get into top physical condition.
Those efforts also enabled competition in her first triathlon, the AFLAC Iron Girl Triathlon, on the first anniversary following her surgery.
“Every day we are faced with obstacles of varying degrees,” said Lanier. “But what I found is that it is not how big the obstacle is, but the attitude with which we face and overcome.”