In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Shawnee Mission Health (SMH), in partnership with The Village Shops in Prairie Village, will Light the Town Pink, bringing a pink glow to the importance of breast cancer awareness and early detection.
The public is invited to attend the official pink lighting ceremony at The Village Shops at 71st Street and Mission Road on Thursday, September 29th. A short program will begin at 7:15 pm near the Clock Tower between Story Restaurant and C. Frogs. Then at approximately 7:30 pm, 12 breast cancer survivors who were treated at Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) will have the honor of flipping the switch, illuminating The Village Shops in pink lights. The event will also feature family entertainment, including face painting, balloons and door prizes.
In honor of the celebration, Shawnee Mission Cancer Center and SMMC campus buildings will also be aglow with pink lights throughout the month of October.
"This event brings light to the importance of early detection for breast cancer," said Becca Bell McMahon, Executive Director of Oncology Services at SMH and breast cancer survivor. "By illuminating the Village Shops and the Shawnee Mission Medical Center campus in pink, we hope to trigger a reminder for women in our community to get regular mammograms and do self-breast exams, because early detection saves lives. In fact, if the disease is caught early, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent."
Community and Businesses to Light the Town Pink, Too
SMH also encourages residents and businesses in the greater Kansas City area to Light the Town Pink by decorating the exterior of their homes, office buildings, shop windows or cubicles in all things pink to show support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Participants are encouraged to use their own interpretation and creativity - there are no rules with materials and supplies. A limited supply of pink string lights will be available for purchase at the pink lighting ceremony event for $10 a strand, in which proceeds will benefit Camp Bluebird, a special retreat sponsored by SMH for adult members of the community who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Participating residents homes and businesses will be reviewed by a panel of judges, and prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third places. The contest runs throughout the month of October, and winners will be announced on Monday, October 31st.
Once entered into the contest, SMH will deliver a sign to display, explaining that the participants are Lighting the Town Pink. Participants are invited to SHARE photos of their pink decorations on social media by posting on the SMH Facebook and Twitter page and using the hashtag #SMHGoesPink!
Early Detection Services Available at the Breast Center
SMH is home to Kansas City's first accredited Breast Center, dedicated to the full spectrum of breast care from screening through diagnosis and survivorship. The Breast Center, which offers 3D mammography, serves in partnership with the Shawnee Mission Cancer Center to provide complete oncology services, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, infusion therapies and other on-site integrative treatments and cancer support services. In addition, the Center also offers a PET/CT scanner that provides advanced imaging and treatment planning. Patients receive the full continuum of care from diagnosis, through inpatient and outpatient services and even prosthetics and wigs, support groups, classes and spiritual renewal all on one campus.