East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono (LVH–Pocono) hosted the 17th annual Pink Light Walk last week. In collaboration with LVH–Pocono’s Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center, the American Cancer Society and Prime Time Health of Monroe County’s Area Agency on Aging, the walk is held each year to increase awareness for breast cancer during the month of October.
This year’s Pink Light Walk was organized by the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center’s Breast Health Nurse Navigator, Lutchana Beckford, ESU Health Studies instructor Alyson Patascher, a committee from both organizations, and other members from the community.
“As a long-standing tradition for LVH-Pocono, the walk serves as a movement to unite those of the community battling breast cancer, survivors of breast cancer or those interested in supporting breast cancer awareness to walk in unison,” said Beckford.
Prior to the walk, education tables with interactive programs and information regarding LVH-Pocono’s free mammogram voucher program service were in the ESU Science and Technology Center. ESU’s Community Health Organization was collecting canned food donations to support the Warrior Food Pantry.
The walk ended at the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center in East Stroudsburg, where there was refreshments and a speech by breast cancer survivor and honorary chair of this year’s committee, Bobbie Long.
Long was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. After receiving all her treatments at the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center, she decided to become a volunteer with the support group Creative Expressions.
“I hand out paper butterflies to patients,” Long said. “It’s an ice breaker, it gets them to open up. It’s also a symbol of hope.” Long spoke to the importance of building awareness and a supportive community. “If there’s one thing I learned,” she said, “it’s that we — patients and survivors — do better together.”