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Hundreds of breast cancer survivors attend pink zone game

By: Lauren Hensley

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Hundreds of breast cancer survivors and their supporters packed the Bryce Jordan Center for lady lions pink zone game. It's the pinnacle of all their fundraising efforts done by the team, school and community to support breast cancer research.

There were 698 survivors in attendance at Sundays pink zone game. Many were willing to share their story of survival.

What's blue, white and pink all over: the Lady Lions pink zone!  The lady lions basketball team donned the traditional blue and white hues but a pop of pink was a new addition to the uniform they stepped onto the court in pink sneakers. The game Sunday was the eighth annual pink zone game, where the Bryce Jordan Center is transformed into a powerful pink presence. The goal is to promote breast cancer awareness and empower survivors. Janet Miller and Lu Hartman are both ushers at the Bryce Jordan Center and they have more in common than their job.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2002 about 12 years ago and believe me, when you hear those words it is a shock, Miller said.

This event is very close to my heart because of the fact in 1998 I had breast cancer. Since that time I have taken many treatments, I have gone through radiation and chemotherapy but I am a survivor, Hartman said.

These women defeated the odds and so did almost 700 survivors who came out to Sundays pink zone. Holly Strayer, who drove three hours from Chambersburg is looking to these stories for inspiration. She will undergo surgery for breast cancer Monday.

The nicest part about this entire thing is that everyone comes together, and supports you and your family. It has been good -- for as bad as it has been, it has been really good, Strayer said.

Ultimately, the goal of the pink zone is there to come a day when a pink zone game is no longer necessary, meaning a cure wound be found for the disease. But until then all of the donations are going to help raise awareness and create the best possible care for people like Strayer who are still in the battle. The pink zone is providing that bright pink light of hope at the end of the tunnel for all in this battle.

This is a situation that we cannot change what happens to us but I am a firm believer that the attitude we bring to it is our choice, and as we walk around and we meet these women and their families, so many times it is very disappointing with what is happening and you are sad but here you are just part of a big pink family, Miller said.

According to officials with the Bryce Jordan Center, 12,585 were in attendance for the event.  They said preliminary numbers show a total of $196,364 was raised, but organizers expect that number to grow once the final calculations are complete.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times