To four friends, Kellyn Rozier Drayer, Latricia Bennett Nichols, Malinda Lenhart and Pat Florence, the Wings of Hope wall at the Breast Center at Good Shepherd is a way to remember or honor women who are important in their livesand at the same time provide health care services to women who cannot pay for those services themselves.
For these four, this year the Wings of Hope wall serves as an inspiration for the most important celebration of them alltheir birthdays.
"The four of us have been friends since the mid-'80s and have crossed paths over the years in many different ways," Kellyn says. "We are all women who've had careers outside the home, so we have interacted with each other professionally as well as through community service organizations."
Pat's birthday is in February, so it's the first one each year in their "Monday lunch group." When her birthday came around this year, they decided that a butterfly would be a great gift because Pat is, and has been, a longtime volunteer at Good Shepherdas a board member for the foundation, the medical center and the health system. She is also a breast cancer survivor.
"One of our other group members then said, Gee, wouldn't we all like to have a butterfly this year for our birthdays?'" Kellyn says. "We all said yes, and that's why we're all giving each other butterflies for our birthdays this year."
Kellyn says another important factor that made them think about the Wings of Hope wall was the fact that they had all just participated in a "butterfly tribute" to a friend who died last year from lung cancer. That friend was also a breast cancer survivor.
"Whether we have personally been touched by breast cancer or not, all of us have been close to women who have been threatened by the disease," Kellyn says. "We understand the importance of screening and early detection."
"Our hope is as other people visit the hospital and see the butterflies displayed, it will encourage them to stop and reflect on the importance of having a world class breast center at Good Shepherd," Malinda says. "Hopefully, those people will feel motivated to also make a contribution to this wonderful facility."
All four women have been longtime supporters of Good Shepherd.
"I have a deep, abiding commitment to Good Shepherd," Malinda says. "I am proud of all the hospital does to enhance the quality of life for so many of us here in East Texas."
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