Break out your pink shirts and make plans to attend this year’s Play4Kay game on Feb. 26 at the Bryce Jordan Center, as the Penn State Lady Lions host the 11th annual Pink Zone game. With tipoff time to be announced, the Lady Lions will take on top rival Michigan and honor breast cancer survivors and those who care for them. The game is a day of celebrating breast cancer survivor-ship, the advancement of cancer care and steps toward the cure of breast cancer. Community members are invited to join the celebration.
Since its inception, Pink Zone has raised just under $1.6 million, bringing in $20,490 the first year. Last year, Pink Zone presented a check for $87,500 to the Mount Nittany Health Foundation for its latest successful fundraising year. Although the Pink Zone raises funds all year round, the Penn State Lady Lions’ annual Pink Zone basketball game is likely the most well-known event. The organization distributed $220,000 in 2016.
Monies raised through Pink Zone support organizations that focus on breast cancer education, research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. As a culmination of year-round fundraising efforts, the Lady Lions dedicate one game each season to Pink Zone. Since 2006, the organization has distributed monies to six area agencies, including Mount Nittany Health, Penn State Cancer Institute, PA Breast Cancer Coalition, Kay Yow Cancer Fund, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital. For the eighth consecutive year, Mount Nittany Health has been named as its lead beneficiary. Funds also support my role as breast health navigator at Mount Nittany Medical Center.
In my role as breast health navigator, I am responsible for removing any barriers to care and ensuring timely access, treatment and follow-up for patients who are dealing with breast cancer, from those who have just been diagnosed, through individuals who have been facing this disease for an extended period of time.
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Essentially, I am an advocate for our patients. Patients battling breast cancer need a strong support system, especially on the clinical front because it’s usually all new territory for them. I act as an educator, consultant and liaison, helping patients navigate their breast care journey and survivor-ship.
Overall, it’s important for patients and their families to know that there are community resources available, and people working diligently all year to make these resources available. The Pink Zone is an incredible organization, of which I am so proud to be a part. I hope to see you all Sunday, Feb. 26.
Additional information and tickets can be found by visiting Pink Zone’s website at papinkzone.org.
Angelique Cygan, RN, is a breast health navigator at Mount Nittany Medical Center.