It’s only been a little more than a year since her diagnosis, but Yolanda Woodlee says her life is forever changed after battling Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) breast cancer. Still, her upbeat attitude and persistent hope are two things she hopes attendees will take away when Woodlee talks about her experience at The Pink Event on March 3, 2012.
“All of our experiences with breast cancer are so different but the key is to stay on top of it,” says Woodlee, a former Washington Post political reporter who lives in Silver Spring. “I kept telling myself, okay the breast cancer caught up with me. But it’s early and it didn’t really get me yet.”
The Pink Event—which will be held at the Holiday Inn in Laurel, Md.—is a women-focused expo showcasing products and services targeted to women audiences. The all-day expo will have a full schedule of mini-motivational sessions, including Woodlee’s breast cancer story.
“I see this as a prime opportunity to encourage other women, especially women of color, to get their mammograms and be consistent with the breast exams,” Woodlee says. “Because when I had breast cancer, there was no lump or cyst. I had nothing, except my regular mammogram to save me.”
Woodlee, who has had cysts in her breast and cancer scares since she was 21, was diagnosed at 54 with DCIS breast cancer in the milk ducts of one of her breasts. She decided to be safe and have a double mastectomy, as well as reconstructive surgery. “Every survivor should do it if they can,” she says. “There is never a moment when I don’t remember I had breast cancer, but I don’t have to look at my body and be reminded of that.”
The Pink Event will focus on breast cancer and domestic violence awareness by donating 65 percent of its ticket sales to the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and the House of Ruth Maryland. “Yolanda’s story will inspire because she knew she was a risk and she met the disease head on,” says The Pink Event creator Tamika Josephs-Smith.
The Pink Event® is committed to the advancement of women-owned, small businesses. The Expo provides a venue for these business owners to display their creativity and expand their brands in the products and services they provide. For more information, please visit www.thepinkevent.net.