Traditionally, CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs has honored breast cancer fighters and survivors with an annual pink balloon release as part of October Breast Cancer Awareness activities. According to Mercy Oncologist Dr. Samer Renno, for every 200,000 patients that are diagnosed with breast cancer, 40,000 of them do not survive.
For the past six years, Mercy has invited families in the community to take part in a new project: a breast cancer awareness ceremony delivered adjacent to a giant pink ribbon painted on the hospital’s expansive front lawn. Bock Lawn and Landscaping have graciously donated their time the past five years for the cause. The pink ribbon is portrayed on Mercy’s lawn to honor those who have lost their lives to the disease and celebrate the continuous progress survivors and health care professionals have made together.
This year, three ribbons were unveiled to the public: two pink ribbons intended for breast cancer awareness and a third purple ribbon recognizing those fighting other cancers. During this year’s breast cancer awareness kickoff ceremony, community members, hospital personnel and volunteers all gathered at the top of the grass hill to support those impacted by breast cancer. Lisa Gronstal, volunteer services manager, emphasizes the importance community engagement can offer for the disease: “No one is alone when it comes to cancer. We all want to help and show support, and this is one way we can do that.”
This year, Mercy partnered with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office and Council Bluffs Police Department to sell breast cancer awareness shirts at 10 different locations across the city. Proceeds were donated to Mercy’s oncology department to financially support cancer patients.Share this story.