Local comedienne performs at the Spirit of Pink


(click here for event photos)
Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital (SGCMH) recently held its Fifth Annual Spirit of Pink to promote breast cancer awareness. This year’s event, the most attended to date, was held at the DuBourg Centre.

Dr. Theresa Cavins, breast and general surgeon, and director of breast services at Metis Breast Care, welcomed attendees.

“The last 5 years have really brought us a lot of changes, growth and excitement, she said. “Our breast program has grown, and we now have a med spa at Bloomsdale Medical Centre to complement our women’s health program. The hospital is also expanding its surgery center, so we have a lot of positive things going on. When I look around the room, I feel surrounded by love here. I feel very fortunate and I hope you feel the same way.”

Dr. Joseph Sharlow, general surgeon at SGCMH, was next to address the room.

“I recognize many of you because you’ve been patients of mine, and you all have had an effect on me,” Dr. Sharlow said. “You all know that life’s a struggle, but someone once said ‘Without perseverance, you get nowhere.’ Most people who persist by working hard tend to succeed by going through those struggles and never giving up their dream. Watching the growth of our program has made me proud. Looking at the crowd here, I see how this event is growing. We’re all here to support one another.”

Dr. Sharlow also heads up the Genesis Med Spa

“They wanted me to talk a little bit about Genesis, but quite honestly,
you’re all beautiful,” he said to the delight of all the women in the room. “I’m not sure I could do much for any of you, but there are people you know that may need some of my services. I will continue to do general surgery-- that’s not going to change. I’m so pleased to see that Dr. Cavins has decided to continue using a lot of her talents in general surgery. She’s really good at what she does.”

Milly Naeger, a native of Ste. Genevieve, was the main attraction for the evening. Being a cancer survivor, herself, she brought a unique brand of humor to the event.

“How many of you thought this was going to be a Victoria Secret festivity,” she asked. “I know I did!”

She then proceeded to introduce her character, Jasmine, from the lingerie icon, who proclaimed that the color pink belonged to them, and the color purple was going to be their next acquisition.

Her next character was Mrs. L, a quirky art teacher who used acrylic, charcoal and Craisins on her latest canvas.

In between her delightful characters, Milly intertwined her own cancer struggle.

“When I was 15, I had Intrauterine Embryonic Radmil Sarcoma, but breast cancer gets all the fame,” she joked.

Milly is now cancer free and at her young age is postmenopausal, she said as she threw her arms up in glee.

She relayed that on her last chemo treatment she started crying.

“Cancer was such a big part of my life,” she said. “Whatever trauma a person goes through, it’s part of who you are. When I talk about or introduce someone who has gone through cancer, that’s not the first thing I say about them. I say ‘They’ve got this amazing spirit.’ You aren’t who you were. You are you now and the best part of you will show up.”

In between refreshments and socializing, Breast Cancer Awareness Bingo was played, and Sheila Henderson took fun group photos for women to have as a keepsake of the event.

Milly, along with fellow comedians Ryan Dalton and Jeremy Hellwig, will all perform at the Black Tie Gala to benefit the hospital’s Friends Foundation on November 7.

For more information about the many women’s services offered at the Bloomsdale Medical Centre, call 573-483-2727.

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