The power of pink pumpkins

Shands Arts in Medicine program staff prepare to transport pink pumpkins to patients during the Oct. 12 Pink Pumpkin PAinting Party held for patients.

Why is a pink pumpkin bedazzled with glitter, feathers and paint so amazing? Because it raises awareness about breast cancer, the leading cause of cancer death among women of all races. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, UF&Shands and the Shands Arts in Medicine Program held a “Pink Pumpkin Painting Party” for the community and a companion event for patients. More than 500 people attended the community event, helping to transform meager pumpkins into pretty-in- pink works of art.

The event was designed to heighten awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection, and to celebrate the lives of women diagnosed with the disease. Every year one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, that’s one woman diagnosed every 3 minutes. Nearly 40,000 women die each year from breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates as many as 30 percent of those deaths could be prevented if every woman 50 and older were aware of and followed recommended screening practices, such as annual mammograms and monthly breast self exams.

Click here for more information about the Pink Pumpkin Painting Party

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Winter 2012

Paul Okunieff, M.D., is the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Foundation and David B. and Leighan R. Rinker chair and serves as director of the UF Shands Cancer Center and chair of the College of Medicine department of radiation oncology.

From the director’s desk

“Sometimes you have to balk at convention to cure cancer.”

Dr. Chris Cogle and Kim White

The battle on blood cancers

Chris Cogle, M.D., and his pals are playing a game of hide and seek, trying to outwit their crafty competitors who know all the good places to hide.

Patricia Beiter, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008, received a bone marrow transplant using stem cells collected from umbilical cord blood at Shands at UF

UF’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit succeeding through research and team care

At 68, Patricia Beiter still ran three miles a day, biked and swam and had just earned her teaching degree. But a routine blood test revealed a problem. Beiter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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