2013 Gallery of Hope Honors Breast Cancer Survivors

in
February 6, 2013
Traveling display features personal survival stories

Ten northeastern Pennsylvania residents recently shared their personal experiences with breast cancer as a way to inspire others who are facing the disease. Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) has collected their stories and photos for the company's 13th annual "Gallery of Hope."

Created by BCNEPA in 2000, the Gallery of Hope is a traveling display designed to educate the public about the importance of early detection and treatment in the fight against breast cancer. Beginning this month, the 2013 Gallery is available to exhibit throughout northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.


Lycoming County Honoree

Muncy resident Sharon Dapp survived breast cancer after it was detected by a routine mammogram just before her 50th birthday. When her cancer returned five years later, she elected to have a mastectomy and is now cancer-free.

Knowing how much she enjoys computer games and suspense novels, her husband bought her an iPad so she could continue to enjoy her favorite pastimes throughout her treatments and recovery.

Sharon strongly encourages every woman to conduct a breast self-exam at least once a month, in addition to having an annual mammogram. If not for her routine mammogram, her cancer would not have been detected. And for those faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer, she advises "don't be afraid of the results, have trust in your physician."


Other Honorees

In addition to Dapp, the 2013 Gallery of Hope recognizes:

* Lorraine Cwalina, of Swoyersville, Luzerne County, a retired nurse, grandmother of six, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season ticket holder.

* Caroline Merino, of Taylor, Lackawanna County, a mother of five who recently competed in the Dirty Girl Mud Run(r).

* Brenda Smellowsky, of Jim Thorpe, Carbon County, a radiologic technologist who encourages all women to be vigilant about routine screenings.

* Carolyn Mosher, of Columbia Cross Roads, Bradford County, a horse lover and rider who organized a breast cancer fund raiser last year.

* Paula Heller-Hahn, of Stroudsburg, Monroe County, an avid NASCAR fan who participates in local Pink Light Walks and the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

* Renee Fries, of Honesdale, Wayne County, who discovered she had breast cancer after her very first mammogram.

* Cathy Franko, of Tunkhannock, Wyoming County, a reading assistant and mother of twins who found out she had cancer on her 43rd birthday.

* Cindy Dalton, of Wellsboro, Tioga County, who has survived breast cancer twice and who facilitates a support group in her community.

* Kelly Valovich, of Hazle Township, Luzerne County, a young mother of two who uses social media to find support and interact with other survivors.


About the Gallery of Hope

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania created the Gallery of Hope in 2000. The nomination process is open year-round. To nominate a breast cancer survivor, or to request the Gallery of Hope as an exhibit at your facility or event, please contact Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania through the Gallery of Hope website at www.bcnepa.com/hope<http://www.bcnepa.com/hope>.


About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to more than 540,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company's mission is to provide innovative wellness solutions that increase access to high-quality, affordable health care and promote personal accountability.

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