By Steve Blanchard - October 11, 2021
Moffitt Cancer Center’s sixth annual Ladies Night event returns Thursday, Oct. 14, to educate women from around the country about the importance of breast cancer screenings, treatment and overall health. The virtual event begins at 6 p.m. and will offer viewers tips for what to expect at a mammogram, as well as testimonials from patients, survivors and medical professionals.
It’s an event that has continued to grow despite, or perhaps because of, the COVID pandemic.
“Women from all over the world joined us last year when we went virtual,” said Chantel Griffin-Stampfer, manager of M-POWER, Moffitt Program for Outreach, Wellness, Education and Resources. “We had the largest attendance on record because of that and this year we encourage participants to host their own COVID-safe Ladies Night parties from the comfort of their own home when they join us. What began as a challenge has turned into a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and talk about health.”
That’s an opportunity Charmaine Jennings, Ed.S., takes seriously. The veteran educator, writer and poet has presented her work at previous Ladies Nights and will once again be featured this year.
Jennings has had her own experiences with breast cancer, which makes her even more passionate about the awareness month and event.
“My first breast examination was in 1991 at the age of 13,” Jennings said. “I had watched an episode of 90210 when Brenda conducted a self-breast exam. I was in the early stages of development but decided to do my own self-check.”
Jennings found a lump in both breasts and shared the finding with her mother. Fortunately, it was not breast cancer, but by her 18th birthday, the complications needed to be medically addressed. She thanks television for raising awareness about breast cancer and breast health and hopes to continue that tradition by participating in events like Ladies Night at Moffitt.
She, along with Michelle Morton and Tiffani Vitale, will share a signature poem with those attending. Jennings said the collaboration expresses the importance of acknowledging and celebrating health care professionals, friends and family members.”
“I hope all the beautiful Pink Warriors leave Ladies Night knowing that we love and stand with them,” Jennings said.
Talking about illnesses, cancer in particular, is never an easy thing to do. However, that conversation can lead to screening, which provides peace of mind, as well as a more successful outcome with an early diagnosis.
"Ladies Night encourages women to share their stories and offers a way to empower them to talk about their own health."- Chantel Griffin-Stampfer, manager of M-POWER
In previous years, Ladies Night could welcome about 75 women who were interested in touring Moffitt’s facility. Last year, when the event went virtual, more than 200 people tuned in.
“We weren’t limited by space because anyone could log in from anywhere,” Griffin-Stampfer explained. “We were still able to get out our message, dispel myths and barriers for women of all backgrounds and empower women to take care of both their physical and emotional health.”
The webinar begins at 6:30 p.m., but participants are encouraged to log in at 6 for 30 minutes of music, breast cancer facts, inspiration and networking with attendees about their own breast cancer experiences.
“Women who face breast cancer aren’t alone,” Griffin-Stampfer said. “Women are typically the caregivers of their families. Ladies Night encourages women to share their stories and offers a way to empower them to talk about their own health.”
Join us at Ladies Night
WHO: All women
WHAT: Virtual Ladies Night
WHEN: 6 p.m. | Thursday, Oct. 14
WHERE: Virtually (must register to receive the Zoom link)