Foundation announces 2015 COH chair
The SAMC Foundation announced the 8th annual Sandi McCool Champions of Hope Event Chair and Spokesperson, Patty Harris at a news conference on Monday. Each year a breast cancer survivor is selected as the honorary chair of the Sandi McCool Champions of Hope event. Previous chairwomen include Sandi McCool (inaugural chair and event inspiration), Kelli Cundith, Kelli Hall, Franzie Bondy, Melinda McClendon and most recently Sandy Brooks.
Harris, a 6-year survivor, credits her successful journey to her mother, Doris McLamb, and early detection. In 1974, a 22-year old Harris found out her mother had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. At 47 years old, Doris lost her battle with breast cancer and from that point on Harris knew she had to be proactive. At age 50, after years of mammograms, Harris believed she had dodged the breast cancer bullet. It was not until 6 years later that Harris received a phone call from Hugh Holloway, MD, that revealed Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) in her mammogram. Harris learned she had the earliest form of breast cancer.
After some research, Harris chose to proceed with a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation treatments with radiation oncologist Steve Stokes, MD, at Southeast Cancer Center. Throughout her treatment journey, she credited the quick actions of her Dothan medical team for giving her the opportunity to catch the disease early.
"My message for Champions of Hope is early detection," Harris said. "My journey was scary but it could've been a lot scarier without early detection."
Join Patty Harris on Saturday, October 17 on the ACOM campus as she represents not only herself but her mother and other survivors and pre-vivors during this year's Sandi McCool Champions of Hope.