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Pink function continues to raise funds for cancer

By Staff | Nov 2, 2018

Dozens of supporters came out to bid on purses and other items at the Pink Luncheon and Purse Auction at Hollywood Casino, in efforts to raise funds for breast cancer awareness on Saturday. Photo by Toni Milbourne.

CHARLES TOWN — The Jefferson County CEOS filled the ballroom at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races for the 12th Annual Pink Luncheon and Purse Auction on Sunday, to support breast cancer awareness.

The event included a buffet lunch, a silent auction and a live auction. More than 85 community-donated items were up for grabs from the silent auction tables, including everything from gift certificates to baskets to artwork. The live auction of the day, overseen by auctioneer Wesley Ware, offered 37 community-donated purses, often filled with goodies, for the crowd to bid upon.

Prior to the luncheon and before bidding got underway, attendees heard from guest speaker Jackie Mayne, a breast cancer survivor, who shared her story.

“My journey began in May 2013, when I found a lump on my right breast. I decided to research and try to diagnose myself,” Mayne said. “That was my first mistake never try to diagnose yourself.”

According to Mayne, by thinking she could self-diagnose, she decided she had a cyst and did nothing to treat it. When the tumor began to grow, she contacted a breast cancer center in Oct. 2013. After receiving recommendations and second opinions, Mayne underwent a mastectomy in Dec. 2013 to remove a 15 centimeter mass. Opting out of radiation treatment, Mayne took the drug Tamoxifen, but when she stopped taking it, the cancer returned.

“This time chemo was the only option,” Mayne said.

However, halfway through the treatments, Mayne’s doctor stopped the treatment, saying it wasn’t going as hoped. Instead, he started Mayne on hormonal treatment and scheduled a hysterectomy. After that, the tumors began to shrink, and another surgery was done in Nov. 2016, followed by radiation treatment and a drug regimen.

The most important advice Mayne said she could give to attendees, included getting screened and never self-diagnosing.

“Always listen to your doctor and do what your doctor says, and always support cancer fundraising events,” Mayne said. “If it wasn’t for the new drug Ibrance, which reduced my tumors quickly and tremendously, I don’t know how long I would have had to do the chemo.”

According to RN and Clinical Interventionist Ruthie Watts, the funds raised by Pink Luncheon and Purse Auction all stay in West Virginia, to assist women who do not have insurance via the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment Fund.

“All surgeons in the state are aware of the fund,” Watts said, mentioning screening clinics are held at health departments around the state, including Jefferson County’s Health Department. Individuals can receive other health resources as well, thanks to the funds raised at the event.

While a final tally of the funds raised Saturday was not immediately available, organizers hoped the amount exceeded last year.

“We haven’t added up all the dollars yet,” said Chasidy Rosa-Morales, indicating that over the past 11 years, the event has raised over $70,000 for the breast cancer fund. 2017s event raised $12,000 for the fund.