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Tee Off Against Breast Cancer in More Ways than One
8th Annual Crawford-Fleming Breast Cancer Awareness Invitational
October, 2006 - Issue #24
The eighth Annual Crawford-Fleming Breast Cancer Awareness Golf Invitational will be held at the Valencia Country Club on Monday, October 23. Together, the Crawford and Fleming families, along with more than 100 golfers, will once again make a difference through an action-packed day of fun. The event will be followed by a dinner, plus a silent and live auction, all raising funds for this important cause. And for the second year, a tea will also be held simultaneously, featuring boutique vendors, fashions and more.

Eight years ago, Don Fleming and Wayne Crawford began the tournament as a way of bringing awareness to the disease, focusing on early detection. In recent years, since the opening of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center in December of 2002, funds have been used to make many improvements, enabling our local center to offer the very best in diagnostic procedures. This event has grown in awareness and community support over the years and last year a record-breaking amount of $113,000 was donated.

"This tournament is so important. It is really a morale booster for all of us who work here, reminding everyone that what we do is important and has an impact on our community," Dr. Daniel Kirsch, medical director of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center
According to The National Breast Cancer Foundation, this year in America, more than 211,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 43,300 will die. One woman in seven either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In addition, 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 will die this year. If detected early, the five-year survival rate exceeds 95 percent. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million US women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram.

Cheri Fleming is proud to be an advocate of this important field. "I'm so excited. The Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center is a state-of-the-art facility that now, people from all over, different areas, are actually bringing patients into. So I think we've accomplished our goal and we're saving lives there. In the fight against breast cancer, I am happy to help any way I can."

Dr. Daniel Kirsch, medical director at the center, explained that over the past few years the tournament has been responsible for providing the latest in technological advances. From the newest in biopsy systems to the latest in computer-aided detection programs, this equipment has significantly increased the detection rate. He went on to add that funds from this year's event will assist in their goal of upgrading the digital mammography workstations as well as providing new LCD monitors which are superior in mammography image display. He also shared hopes of expanding the center, making it larger by adding another digital unit. In this way, Kirsh adds, "We will expand the availability of service to more women in the community. This tournament is so important. It is really a morale booster for all of us who work here, reminding everyone that what we do is important and has an impact on our community."

As a breast cancer survivor, Dianne Crawford can speak to this impact first hand. Diagnosed in 1997, Crawford was on her way to work when she was given the diagnosis. She remembers, "My life was changed forever. Due to the length of my treatment and recovery I was never able to return to work. I loved my job and it was very difficult to see a life without it. That changed when I realized that I wanted to give back to my community and do something good with the rest of my life." Today, Dianne operates Pink Ribbon Gifts, selling merchandise she has designed with her own pink ribbon logo. A portion of each sale is donated to breast cancer awareness education.

Terry Bucknall, director of women's imaging services at the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center, says that since its opening, the center has performed over 33,000 procedures, with over 25,000 women receiving mammograms. She went on to report that they have detected over 200 cancers.

Dianne Crawford's own cancer was missed on an early mammogram. "I realize how important it is to take charge of our own bodies. Early detection is the key to survival," she says. "I want both men and women to be proactive in their healthcare. Awareness saves lives."

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For additional information or to reserve your spot as player, tea attendant or sponsor, please contact Janis Engel at Valencia Acura at 255-3000 or jengel@valenciaacura.com. To learn more about the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center, call 253-8822.
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