WAXAHACHIE — Sporting their pink feather boas proudly, more than a hundred local breast cancer survivors — and even more of their loved ones — came together on Oct. 12 in downtown Waxahachie to celebrate their victory over the deadly disease.
Several dozen stayed afterward, following a luncheon at the historic Rogers Hotel, to take a triumphant stroll around the Ellis County Courthouse square. And more stuck around for a fundraising Pink Diva Sip ‘n’ Stroll sponsored by the Waxahachie Downtown Merchants Association that extended the festivities into the early evening.
The annual event supports the Dinah Weable Indigent Mammogram Fund, benefiting uninsured women in Ellis County without the financial means to afford a routine scan, through one of the fund’s partners, Hope Clinic. The fund has helped more than 1,200 women in Ellis County get a life-saving checkup since 2007.
Dinah Weable herself was at the event and paraded around the courthouse right alongside her compatriot survivors.
“What a blessing it is to be here to see you all in your places,” said Weable, who with her husband Ray led the foundation until their retirement earlier this year. “We have joy in being survivors. Someone who is special to us, we are special to them.”
Previous luncheons had been held at First United Methodist Church, but Cindy Smith, recently-named chairperson of the Weable Fund board and also a breast cancer survivor, said the event had finally outgrown its facilities. As it was, just about every seat in the Rogers Hotel meeting room was filled.
“We wanted to do something a little bit different,” Smith said. “It’s such an honor to see all the survivors here and gather to share in our mission and hope that one day, there will be a cure.”
Weable said there were 35 breast cancer survivors and friends at the first event in 2004, and last year there were 285 total attendees.
“We felt honored to have that attendance, but we knew we were wall-to-wall at First United Methodist Church,” Weable said. “Sometimes change is necessary. But this is a wonderful celebration, even though it is a change.”
Weable told survivors that through the community and individual supporters, and the support of the Baylor Scott & White foundation, that funding for mammograms should be secure through the next five years.
“None of us will ever know because of government policy whose life has been saved,” Weable said, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPPA. “But I can almost guarantee there is a lady here in Ellis County whose life has been saved because of a mammogram. Because that’s the way they found my breast cancer and I’m pretty sure that proves true of anyone in this room.”