News | Nov. 4, 2019

DLA Maritime Mechanicsburg wears pink in honor of family, friends affected by breast cancer

By Wendy Adams DLA Maritime Mechanicsburg

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pink is the color associated with creating awareness for this disease. DLA Maritime Mechanicsburg, located on the Naval Support Activity in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, showed their support recently by gathering for a photo Oct. 16 with everyone wearing pink.

Several contracting specialists with the logistics organization recalled how the disease touched their lives.

“My roommate from college was diagnosed at the age of 25 with breast cancer,” Wendy Adams said. “We were all shocked at how someone so young could be diagnosed with this disease. Five years after her initial diagnosis, she was diagnosed again with breast cancer. Fast forward 20 years since her initial diagnosis, she discovered she has ovarian cancer. I don’t know what her future holds, but she has held her head high and dealt with this horrible disease with humor and dignity. She’s an inspiration to me.”

A survivor also recounted her story.

“Having breast cancer back in 2002 taught me to live life with gratitude, to recognize beauty in all circumstances and be thankful for it,” Karen Haley explained. “Enduring surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and follow-up were possible only because of the loving kindness and prayers of my husband, family, friends, and health care providers. 

Cancer was a challenge, but it showed me the depth of goodness in so many people and enabled me to encourage others coping with health issues.  Be thankful. Cherish every moment like it's your last – and your first.”

Kimberly Myers said the toughest part for her was watching loved ones suffering with the disease.

“I have had friends and family fight the battle with breast cancer,” Myers added. “It’s hard to watch when it happens and feel like you can’t help except to just be there with them. But there’s something everyone can do: we can all help raise awareness of breast cancer and how early detection can save one from pain and suffering of not only the individual going through it but those around them.”

Giovanna Poppleton encouraged employees to get checked early to speed treatment and positive outcomes.

“Both my mom and my aunt, my mom’s sister, are in remission for breast cancer,” Poppleton said. “This has given me awareness to be proactive with mammograms and self-examinations since its runs in my family.”

Brian Stevens recalled his mother’s diagnosis two decades ago and how he made her recovery special. 

“My mom was diagnosed in 1996,” Stevens stated. “She had a mastectomy done on Valentine’s Day 1996—so she’s a 23-year survivor now. When I worked for the athletic department at Robert Morris University, I got her in as the ceremonial puck dropper during the Women’s Hockey team’s Breast Cancer weekend, too.”

Another associate shared why she wears pink for awareness.

“In honor of my Mom, I wear pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month,” Alecia West said. “She was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2004.  She received sessions of radiation and chemotherapy treatment.  My family is very thankful today that she is a 15-year breast cancer survivor.”

Cathy Wright, a purchasing agent with DLA Maritime Mechanicsburg, added that not just women can be affected by breast cancer and it’s important to ensure all your loved ones are getting checked.

“Just a reminder to have your pets examined,” Wright said. “They get breast cancer too. It’s something you can notice on a belly rub. The disease is also not just limited to women. My father-in-law died of breast cancer. Anyone, male or female, can have the BRCA mutation.”