67 Women, 67 Counties, Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania


FULTON COUNTY, Pa. - Since 1994, the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition has found a unique way to encourage women of all ages to learn about early detection while celebrating the thousands of breast cancer survivors in the area.

"When you're first told, you have breast cancer it just knocks your socks off and it's hard to believe and I was afraid I was going to die," said Betty Shelley, breast cancer survivor for 26 years.

It was an evening of reflection and hope as breast cancer survivors and supporters from across Pennsylvania shared their stories and welcomed a special exhibit to the Fulton County Medical Center.

"The exhibit, I think is very empowering for women, in particular, this is people's opportunity to put a face with the disease. You know, you can talk about, oh it's breast cancer but you know these are real women and real stories and real families that are affected," Billie Piper Hammond, breast cancer survivor for 13 years.

The traveling photo exhibit represents all 67 counties in Pennsylvania and shows more than 67 breast cancer survivors. Coordinators said it's chance to share their stories of survival, courage and hope for a cure.

"Many women at that time when we started the exhibit weren't so comfortable telling their friends and family and coworkers about their diagnosis and so we wanted to let them know that they're not alone in this fight and by reaching out to those people they can get the support they need to navigate their diagnosis," said Natalie Kopp, Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.

The photo exhibit is featured in six locations each year but this is it's first time in Fulton County.

"These are people who have had breast cancer, some people who have conquered breast cancer and it's also a memorial to some of the people who are less fortunate," said Hammond.

The exhibit also encourages women to learn about early detection.

A display of hope and a lesson that could save lives.

The photo exhibit is free and open to the public and runs until April 24th at the Fulton County Medical Center.

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