Meritus Health Hosts Pink Palooza to Raise Breast Cancer Awareness


HAGERSTOWN, MD -  It was bras and pinkness galore, all in a day's effort of Meritus Health to inspire women to fight against breast cancer for the month of October.

For one woman, 2010 was a dark year for Judy Shifflett.

"Scared to death. When you hear you have cancer, you're scared to death," said Shifflett.

It was a year where she fought for her life and part of that fight was going through with a double mastectomy. It is a decision she is grateful she made everyday but an experience she is hoping she helps other women to prevent.

"Just because you think you're young, you need to examine your breasts. You need to be aware of anything when your insurance pays, go for those mammos. It can hit anybody," said Shifflett.

She was just one of many who attended Meritus Health's Pink Palooza event on Friday, spreading lifesaving messages amidst a sea of the bright color.

"Early detection is the best thing that you need for breast cancer so the sooner people can get their mammograms and the self breast exams and see a doctor, the sooner they can be treated," said Andrea Garnand, technical supervisor of John Marsh Cancer Center.

One way organizers spread that message was by making 18 bras which became a discussion starter.

Some were made of copper, grass and even pumpkins. Dinner was also prepared, inviting the public to hear stories of inspiration with Judy amongst them.

"I am lucky to have my birthdays come. I'm lucky to be alive. I can joke. People wonder how I can laugh about it," said Shiflett.

Throughout the event, there was also a beer tasting, a silent auction, and a speech from Tamela Rich, a woman who shared her story as a breast cancer advocate.

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