Clad in pink and wearing masks, 26 students, faculty and staff members walked a mile on the PCOM Georgia walking trail to help raise money to enhance mammography services in Gwinnett County.
Part of Paint Gwinnett Pink, the Office of the Chief Campus Officer has sponsored the community-wide event, hosted by Northside Hospital Gwinnett, since 2018. This year, the President’s Community Wellness Initiative also supported the effort with the 2021 theme, “See Beyond.”
Bryan Ginn, chief campus officer said, “The insidious disease of cancer touches us all in some form. I was honored to join with many campus colleagues to celebrate several of our PCOM Georgia breast cancer survivors by walking with them in this fun annual event that supports our community’s efforts to serve those facing this significant health challenge. I walked in honor of my mother-in-law, a breast cancer survivor.”
Paint Gwinnett Pink celebrates survivorship and raises awareness and funds for breast cancer programs at the Northside Gwinnett Breast Centers in Lawrenceville and Duluth. With all funds raised remaining in Gwinnett, the 2021 goal is to bring 3D mammography to both locations in order to diagnose breast cancer earlier. In addition, funds go toward providing access to mammograms, as well as transportation and other assistance needed for patients diagnosed with breast cancer.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the community event, which has raised close to $900,000 this year, took place at Coolray Field, a minor league baseball park in Lawrenceville. This year, event organizers asked organizations, companies and individuals to form teams and conduct virtual walks.
Participants, one in a tutu and another holding balloons, showed up at the front entrance to the Old Peachtree building at noon on October 19. Following the event, survivors were celebrated and healthy snacks were shared.
The in-person, outdoor campus event, one of only a handful of non-COVID or vaccine-related events to be held since March 2020, was organized by Kim Lucier, director of campus operations at PCOM Georgia.
She said, “You couldn't see the 26 smiles under our masks, but you could tell our eyes were smiling and how we all just stayed a little bit longer than usual after the event ended. We were just happy to be outside together again at an event for a wonderful cause. And we thank PCOM for the support!”