Breast cancer awareness for Mingo club

The October meeting of the GFWC Woman’s Club of Mingo Junction held at the Mingo Senior Citizens Center featured club members wearing pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and welcoming two special guests with information about it.

Cheri Carpico, first vice president, presided for the meeting where Shelly Bateman offered grace and Stephanie Rouse led the opening exercises.

In addition to wearing pink, members also painted their nails with pink for advocacy for children and purple for preventing domestic violence.

Guest speakers were Mary McElhaney, a breast cancer survivor, volunteer with the Jefferson County Unit of the American Cancer Society and member and co-chair of the Women In Action Against Cancer Coalition of Jefferson County, and Janet Sharpe, a longtime registered nurse and manager of the Trinity Breast and Cervical Cancer Grant Program.

McElhaney was diagnosed with breast cancer in her left breast in 1998, then in 2011 in her right breast. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation both times during her cancer journey. She has been a volunteer with WIAACC since 1998, serving as co-chairperson for approximately 10 years. She also has been a volunteer with the ACS’ Reach to Recovery program since 1999, presently serving as coordinator for the Jefferson County area. The support system program connects breast cancer survivors with others newly diagnosed.

McElhaney serves on the state Board of the Appalachia Community Cancer Network in Columbus.

Sharpe is a member of the Appalachian Cancer Network, serving as co-chairperson from 1996-2011. She is a member of the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Coalition and was its former president in 2002 and 2003 and education committee chair for several years.

The recipient of the first Janet Voinovich Service Award, Sharpe is a member of the Wintersville Catholic Churches Parish Nurse Ministry, served as a member of the National Komen Foundation Amish Research Grant Advisory Board and is board secretary of the Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center.

McElhaney and Sharpe provided information on breast cancer, noting one in eight women will be diagnosed with it. Early detection is important as are routine breast exams. Risk factors include age, being female, inherited gene mutations, family history of breast, ovarian or prostate cancer, personal history of breast cancer or other cancers, childbearing (age at first birth or not having children), and age at first period/age at menopause.

Men can get breast cancer, too, they said, although the percentage is low.

The two discussed how treatment of breast cancer has changed through the years.

McElhaney and Sharpe gave an overview of WIAACC, a community- based group founded in 1994 and established through the Appalachia Leadership Initiative on Cancer, funded by the National Cancer Institute to improve cancer awareness and control in Appalachia.

WIAACC provides education on ways to prevent cancer as well as free breast and cervical exams and mammograms when indicated. The group is open to anyone and meets at noon at Manfred’s in Steubenville on the first Wednesday of the month.

The two distributed tickets for a door prize won by Mary Jane Tiberio.

Diana Taylor presented the speakers with a pink corsages as well as club member Cheri Carpico, a breast cancer survivor.

Rouse announced the Halloween parade and party will be held Oct. 30. Donations to date are from St. Agnes Catholic Woman’s Club, the Knights of Columbus, Wheeler Funeral Home, Wilson Funeral Home and club members.

Rouse also reported on the Gold Star Mother Pilgrimage which she, President Sharon Cole-Isner, Roetta Lewis, Clara Sue Milewsky and Janet Petrella attended.

The club decided to sell See’s Candy again this year. Chairman Joanne Gorney will be assisted by Kathy Maguschak. Anyone wanting to place an order can contact any club member. The deadline is the Monday before Thanksgiving.

Members were given a handout listing items needed for Boatsie’s Boxes. Donations can be dropped off the day of stuffing the Halloween bags at the city building recreation room.

Rouse gave a report on the Flower Power fundraiser.

Cole-Isner will be the chairperson of the spring mystery theater event tentative set for April 5.

Members were reminded to get out and vote on Nov. 5.

Betty Ralston won the door prize, a fall mum.

The Community Service Project, Home Life Department, were hostesses. Chairman was Taylor assisted by Criss. Lewis and Cole-Isner also are members of the committee.

The education department will be hostesses for the Nov. 14 meeting with Cheri Carpico as chairperson. The meeting will be held at the new Indian Creek Middle School. This also will be a pajama party.

Members are asked to wear their PJs and bring a new pair to donate to the ALIVE Shelter.