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'Light the Night Pink' to Celebrate Breast Cancer Patients, Survivors

October 11, 2017
Oct. 11, 2017 — “Breast reconstruction finishes a woman's journey with breast cancer,” said Nicole Sommer, MD, associate professor and plastic surgeon with Southern Illinois University Medicine’s Institute for Plastic Surgery. Breast cancer treatment often results in significant alteration of the woman's breast and can have a severe impact on quality of life. Research has shown that reconstruction is attributed to the patients improved self-esteem and sense of well-being.
Sommer and other SIU plastic surgeons, with oncologists and surgeons from Simmons Cancer Institute (SCI) at SIU are hosting “Light the Night Pink” to create awareness for breast reconstruction following breast cancer. The free, family-friendly event will be held from 4:30 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at SCI, 315 W. Carpenter St. in Springfield.
The highlight of “Light the Night Pink” will be an illuminated human pink ribbon featuring survivors, patients, families and supporters. A photographer will capture the gathering at 6 p.m. in SCI’s parking lot.
Other activities include a DJ, photo booth, information booths, light refreshments and temporary pink tattoos. The event will also feature breast cancer experts, including Sommer, Sandra Ettema, MD, assistant professor of surgery at SIU, Robert Mocharnuk, MD, professor and director of the Breast Center at SIU, and Jason Lee, a tattoo artist who specializes in breast reconstruction nipple and areola inking. Speakers will begin at 7 p.m.
The Institute for Plastic Surgery at SIU received a $10,000 public awareness grant for a Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day event through the Plastic Surgery Foundation to increase awareness and prevention about breast cancer with a variety of family-oriented activities.
Ettema said the event focuses on family at many levels. “Family is an important part of the healing process as are close friends,” Ettema, a breast cancer survivor said. “If there is a history of cancer in the family, genetic testing is also a positive step.”

Schedule an interview or request more information by contacting SIU Medicine's Office of Public Relations and Communications:
Karen Carlson
Cindy Davidsmeyer