Purdue University Northwest (PNW) Honors College students joined the Laini Fluellen Charities’ 8th Annual “Pink Tie Affair” event at the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago recently to raise awareness and funds combating triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
The “triple negative” form of breast cancer is diagnosed in about 10 to 20 percent of breast cancer cases and is more likely to affect younger people, in particular African Americans and Hispanics. Because TNBC typically develops in younger women before mammograms are indicated, there are fewer treatment options than other forms of breast cancer and lower survival rates.
PNW’s Invisible Strings Orchestra, led by Honors College student Yamani Woody, performed during the event’s social hour, setting an uplifting tone for the evening.
“Community engagement is a requirement for Honors College students and we make every effort to connect students’ involvement to their academic and cultural interests,” said Karen Bishop Morris, interim dean of the Honors College. “To have PNW Honors College students volunteer on behalf of the battle against triple negative breast cancer raises their awareness and cultivates their ability to advocate for issues that are important in their lives and the communities they represent.”
Bishop Morris also moderated a panel of physicians honored at the event for their contributions to breast cancer treatment, which included Kimberly Arthur, M.D., chairperson of obstetrics and gynecology at St. Catherine Hospital; Mohamad Kassar, M.D., vice chairman of medicine and director of the cancer research program at Community Hospital; Mary Nicholson, M.D., regional director of breast imaging for Community Healthcare System; and M. Nabil Shabeeb, M.D., F.A.C.S., general surgeon and founding member of the Community Cancer Research Foundation and chair of the Cancer Research Center.
According to Tranece Artis, Laini Fluellen Charities executive director, proceeds for this year’s fundraiser will benefit a mammogram subsidy program for indigent patients at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, TNBC research through the Community Cancer Research Foundation, and care packages for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at three local hospitals.