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Contact: Linda J. Johnson
WCA Hospital Public Relations & Marketing Department
(716) 664-8614
Linda.Johnson@wcahospital.org

LINKS Pink Walk Ambassador Karrie Olmstead Encourages Survivors to Be Positive


WCA Hospital
Pictured are, LINKS Charity Pink Walk patient ambassador and breast cancer survivor, Karrie Olmstead (center), who is surrounded by her family, Shelley Stahlman, Karrie’s Mom (far left) and Torie Swanson, her Aunt (far right). United, they invite the community to join them in celebration at the 5th Annual LINKS Charity PINK Walk, on Saturday, October 3rd, at 10:00 a.m. at the Chautauqua Mall. Walk-ins welcomed to the event.

Jamestown, New York (Wednesday, September 30, 2015)—Karrie Olmstead, LINKS Pink Walk patient ambassador and breast cancer survivor, will encourage attendees to stay positive and be determined in order to overcome cancer at the 5th Annual LINKS Charity Pink Walk: A Celebration of Courage presented by Jamestown Radiologists and UNIVERA Healthcare Saturday, October 3rd at the Chautauqua Mall (318 E. Fairmount Avenue, Lakewood) at 10:00 a.m.  This special event will celebrate the courage of those who have faced breast cancer. All proceeds stay in Chautauqua County to enhance breast cancer care.  Karrie Olmstead will recap her journey as a breast cancer survivor during the event.

In addition to the major and associate sponsors of LINKS Charity (Truck Lite, Cummins, ALSTAR EMS, United Refining, The Bilicki Law Firm, Jamestown Savings Bank, and Northwest Savings Bank), the Presenting Sponsors of the 2015 LINKS Pink Walk are Jamestown Radiologists and Univera Healthcare.

“I am truly honored to be this year’s ambassador and be among such amazing women,” said Karrie who was diagnosed with breast cancer and cautions survivors to think positive and be determined in order to beat cancer.  “You have to remain positive, that’s the big thing.  You need to be determined and you need to fight hard in order to get this out of your system.  I remember nodding my head when I heard those words and saying ‘yup, yup, yup’, but as time went on, I learned that possessing the will and strength to fight this disease is absolutely critical.

You cannot lie down and let the cancer take over who you are.  It changes who you are—it absolutely changes who you are!  I am not the same person I was a year and a half ago, but being diagnosed with cancer is not the end of the world and I am living proof that you can overcome cancer and get your life back.  This Saturday, I will emphasize to those affected by cancer that no matter what they may go through, together we can unite to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others battling cancer.  I truly encourage our community to step out, put on their ‘pink’ and join us for what will be a moment they will never forget.”

Gina Bloomquist, local breast cancer survivor, will be viewed on a large screen in center court inspiring others that the best weapon we all have against cancer is early detection. “We need the community’s help to fund-raise in order to have the latest cancer treatments, right here at home,” Gina says.  “It’s so important for the people to attend events like the PINK Walk to raise awareness and support our local hospital so we can fight disease together as fast as we can so we are able to move forward to lead full lives.”

The LINKS Pink Walk festivities will begin at 10:00 a.m. with registration and many family-friendly activities including face painting, coloring table for children, pink nails, pink lemonade, pink cupcakes, pink cake pops, a fabulous basket raffle and more. At 10:45 a.m., LINKS Charity will pay tribute to the courage of all those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, including a personal patient testimonial by Karrie Olmstead and video message from breast cancer survivor, Gina Bloomquist, will be viewed on a large screen in center court.

At 11:00 a.m., the walk will begin and be led by breast cancer survivors as all walkers will carry the LINKS Tribute Chain, a chain featuring thousands of pink links that have been purchased ($1 donation) in honor or in memory of loved ones who are or have faced breast cancer. Donations for these pink links are available at supporting event businesses including, Bob Evans, Truck-Lite, Cummins, Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union branches, AFFINITY ONE Credit Union on Second Street, the Chautauqua Mall, Jamestown Radiologists and WCA Hospital.

“If you are still interested in walking, it’s not too late,” states Megan D’Angelo, WCA Director of Development. “Please call WCA’s Office of Development, or you can sign up the day of the event and don’t forget to wear your pink. If you want to support the walk, but would rather support it in other ways, we will have pink items for sale, vendors selling pink items and basket raffles from some of the following businesses; Curves, Alleghany Outfitters, Pace Promotional Solutions, Pepsi, Anderson Cleaners. Please come out to support or make a contribution to LINKS Pink Walk-you will help make a difference!”

Following the walk, participants will form a human breast cancer ribbon in the Mall Parking Lot. After the walk, attendees and event volunteers will be treated a complimentary lunch by Bob Evans. At that time, attendees will continue to enjoy the pink-themed activities along with LIVE music provided by EMPIRE Entertainment LIVE DJ.

Along with lunch, each registered walker ($10 per person) will receive a complimentary pink event t-shirt to wear during the walk. Walkers are encouraged to pre-register and join a team on-line at www.firstgiving.com/wca/links-pink-walk-a-celebration-of-courage/fundraisers or register on-line at www.wcahospital.org or call Megan D’Angelo, WCA Hospital at (716) 664-8423 for Pre-Registration Forms and Pledge Sheets.

Earlier this year, LINKS Charity announced that it is once again taking a leadership role in the local fight against breast cancer by starting their $400,000 pledge toward the purchase of the Discovery 630 system. This cutting-edge technology will compliment LINKS Charity’s most recent gift ($300,000) to aid in the diagnosis of breast cancer through the purchase of the 3-D Tomosynthesis which is now operational in the WCA Center for Imaging & Medical Arts. LINKS Charity and WCA Hospital recognize that early detection means faster intervention, more treatment options, and improved survival rates.

“We believe that the Discovery 630 system is the next logical piece of the puzzle as it will work in conjunction with the new Digital Mammography suite at WCA,” says Brad Van Riper, Senior Vice President for Truck-Lite and Executive Director for LINKS Charity. “We invite and encourage everyone to come out and join us for this family-friendly event as we celebrate courage, raise awareness, and support the future of breast cancer care here at our community hospital.”

To learn more about the LINKS Pink Walk or to sponsor the walk, please contact Megan D’Angelo, WCA Director of Development at (716) 664-8423 or email, megan.dangelo@wcahospital.org.

 
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