First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
Breast Cancer Survivors Honored at Annual Luncheon

Press Release Date:  Monday, May 05, 2008  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass

FRANKFORT, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear today welcomed approximately 1,000 breast cancer survivors from across the commonwealth to the 11th annual Celebration of Hope. The luncheon was held in the Garden of Silks tent on the Capitol grounds and concluded a weekend of Derby events.

“It is very appropriate that on the Monday after the Kentucky Derby, we are celebrating the winning of another “Derby” as women have won their own race of life by defeating breast cancer,” said Mrs. Beshear. “The Celebration of Hope is their winner’s circle and we congratulate each of them.”

This year’s guests heard words of inspiration from breast cancer survivors Mel Fisher, a Louisville broadcaster, and retired jockey Patti Cooksey. Both shared their stories of survivorship and encouraged the crowd to hope for more funding, more research and finding a cure for the disease they had all endured.

The Celebration of Hope was initiated by former First Lady Judi Patton and has since developed into a celebration of survivorship as well as an opportunity to educate Kentucky’s women on the issue of breast cancer awareness. Mrs. Patton was a special guest at the luncheon, in addition to former Gov. Martha Layne Collins and former first lady Phyllis George Brown.

Mrs. Beshear announced that she will work to tie the signature industry of Kentucky to the signature need to find a cure. She will combine her passions by working with the Kentucky Cancer Program and women in Kentucky’s horse industry to create Breast Cancer Awareness Days at each of the race tracks in Kentucky within the next year.

“There is life after breast cancer. There is room for hope,” Mrs. Beshear said, “hope to dream of the day when breast cancer will be nothing but a memory.”