Port Arthur’s “Winners for Life” Celebrates 10 Years of
Breast Cancer Awareness and Survivorship
Port Arthur, Texas – Nearly 350 dedicated supporters, breast cancer survivors and sponsors joined “Winners for Life” to celebrate the organization’s 10th year in the fight against breast cancer through outreach and awareness during its recent “A Toast to Survivorship” Luncheon held at Sacred Heart-Saint Mary Catholic Church in Port Arthur.
“Winners for Life” Breast Cancer Survivors Chairperson, Mary Polk, a 10-year survivor, made a special “pink toast” to recognize the remarkable strength of breast cancer survivors and kick-off the annual Survivors March, which was complemented by an uplifting musical performance of “Smile” by Dwight Wagner, Program Administrator of the Promise and Success Youth Reading Academy (Port Arthur Independent School District).
“This is a special milestone with the 10th anniversary of our organization, and we are so pleased to present a significant contribution of $10,000 to the ‘Gift of Life,’ which will help make a difference in the lives of numerous women in our community,” said Winnie Frelow, EdD, a breast cancer survivor, former Assistant Principal of the Port Arthur Independent School District and Chairperson of “Winners for Life.”
The day’s activities featured an educational presentation by the Southeast Texas Black Nurses Association, represented by Christina Alexis-Wasson, RN, Denise Boutte, RN, and Dianne Marks, RN, BSN, who provided vital information regarding the importance of awareness, early detection and healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of cancer and other women’s health issues, such as heart disease.
Guest speakers and two-year breast cancer survivors, LaDonna Anderson and Corby Woods, each shared moving testimonials of hope and healing. “Breast cancer has been in my family for three generations, affecting my grandmother, mother and myself,” Anderson said. “It was a long journey through 12 months of chemotherapy, but I am blessed to now be cancer-free. If you have breast cancer, always remember that miracles can happen and don’t give up hope.”
Woods said, “My family and friends were always there for me, and their support helped me stay strong and positive through surgery and four rounds of chemo. Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, and it is so important for women to check themselves because it can happen to anyone.”
Proceeds from the luncheon benefit the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program, providing extensive educational outreach and free mammograms and clinical breast exams with access to cancer treatment for medically underserved Southeast Texas women.
“I am deeply moved by the tremendous donation, and I applaud you all and thank you so much for from the bottom of all our hearts,” said Regina Rogers, “Gift of Life” founder and chair. “Last year, the ‘Gift of Life’ detected breast cancer in 18 women who might not be alive today without your support and the wonderful people throughout Southeast Texas.”
Additionally, this year’s prestigious Father Larry Gutierrez Award was presented to breast cancer survivor, Wilma Haliburton, in acknowledgement of her hard work, enthusiasm and tireless dedication to “Winners for Life.”
Formed in 2003 as a subcommittee within Sacred Heart-Saint Mary Parish’s education program, “Winners for Life” now represents several religious denominations and strives to educate women about breast cancer, raise funds to support free mammograms provided by the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program and serves as a support system for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
For more information about “Winners for Life,” please contact “Winners for Life” Chairperson Winnie Frelow, EdD at 409.963.2904. To find out if you qualify for a free mammogram, please contact the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program at 409.833.3663 or visit giftoflifebmt.org.