The Clock Stops Here...

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Breast Cancer Alliance Luncheon 2011

My 15 seconds of fame!  I made the front page of Friday's Greenwich Time.

Breast cancer survivor Debbi O'Shea, the personal shopper at Richards since 2001, walks the runway.  Photo: Helen Neafsey / Greenwich Time

Though it was unusually cool and rainy yesterday, it was pure sunshine inside the tent at the 16th annual Breast Cancer Alliance benefit luncheon and fashion show at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich.
This was the sixth year that Mitchells/Richards sponsored the fashion show and nearly 800 women were treated to a whirlwind of exciting fashion from Valentino, Brunello Cucinelli, Michael Kors, Akris, J. Mendel, Giorgio Armani, Jason Wu, Yigal Azrouel, Lela Rose and exquisite coats from the Oscar de la Renta Couture Collection.

In a word: Swoonworthy even if I did just make it up.

Festive Tables

The Runway
All of this is the culmination of a year of hard work of dozens of volunteers, chaired this year by Patricia Burns and Amanda Davis, with the great support of  BCA President Debbie Black and Andrew Mitchell-Namdar of Mitchells/Richards.  This was my fourth year on the committee and I am proud to be associated with this incredible organization

This year's Guest Speaker was Cokie Roberts, whose list of accomplishments is so long it could comprise another blog.  As is tradition, she is also a breast cancer survivor. The finale of the fashion show always includes survivors and often, the people who helped them achieve it.  My supporter, was my friend Michele Penque. We know well in our hearts, that our dear friend Lorraine Millar, a 20 year survivor who lost her battle in 2009, was looking down on that runway with joy. I was also extremely proud of my colleagues Patricia Cinquemani and Iwona Kelly who walked the runway together.  Both received breast cancer diagnosis' last year, fought hard and won. Their smiles say it all...

Michele, Patricia and Iwona
This is such a fun and glamorous day, but what is really impressive, is the mission of the BCA and the breadth of their accomplishments.  Fundraising, has allowed the BCA and their dedicated Board of Directors to disperse over $13.5 million dollars to some of the most brilliant researchers in the country.  In an average year, 75% of their grant funds go to research and 25% to early detection programs in the communities they serve. The distinguished cancer specialists on their Medical Advisory Board, together with outside experts, help them to make quality grant decisions.

Over the years, the Alliance has funded a variety of cutting edge research grants and one-year post-graduate breast surgery fellowships at 25 of the nation's leading research institutions. They have also funded community outreach programs and education initiatives in nine communities in Connecticut and New York.

In a word:  WOW!

What can you do to stay on top of your breast health?  Know your family history (paternal history counts equally). Get annual mammograms beginning at age 40 (earlier if you are at high risk), with a manual exam by a Radiologist. If you have dense breasts, insist on a bilateral ultrasounds. Exercise often. Drink moderately. Be in touch with your breasts in the shower.  If you need a biopsy, seek medical help from a Breast Specialist.

If you do ever hear the dreaded words, "You have breast cancer", I promise, you will not go it alone. Family, friends, survivors and organizations like the BCA will help see you through...

I promise.



  1. Deb, this is wonderfully well written. I am very proud of you. Congrats on a very much deserved 15 minutes of fame!

  2. Thanks Sis! More like 15 seconds, but it was fun. Always a great day, 364 days in the making.
    Quite a remarkable group of women, on so many levels.

    Love you,

  3. Great event for a worthy cause!! Wish I could have come!

  4. The best Q.! Missed most of the fashion show because I was back stage, but I loved what I saw and many people commented it was the best ever!

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  6. You are very great and inspiring. I feel very proud of you.
    My wishes and prayers for you always.



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