Cancer Bell Gets First Ring

Nila Ringing Cancer Bell

BCPC member Nila Florschutz rings the Cancer Bell signaling her last chemo therapy

Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition (BCPC) member Dr. Perica “Nila” Florschutz, retired MD, was the first patient to ring the new “Chemo Bell” at Georgia Health Sciences University’s outpatient Cancer Center. The bell was donated by the BCPC to honor all patients battling all types of cancers. It is similar to one in the inpatient cancer unit.   When a patient completes the last round of chemotherapy, he or she rings the bell and everyone celebrates.

Nila was treated for adenocarcinoma of the colon and had her last chemo in October.  With this behind her, she plans to “Live, Love and Laugh”.

Originally from Dubrovnik, Croatia,  Nila  has lived in the U.S. for 38 years.  She spent most of that  in  the Washington, D.C. area, Minnesota, and Florida, before following her two children and four grandchildren to Augusta, Georgia. Her son received a residency for the M.D./Ph.D. program in Orthopaedic Surgery at Augusta’s Medical College of Georgia (now GHSU) in 2007. Her daughter worked in research and moved to Augusta in 2009.

When asked why she joined the BCPC, Nila explained “I met [BCPC President] Nita Zachow, who introduced me to the organization. I have really enjoyed the socializing and friendships that have come from it. I find the goals of the BCPC amazing and am proud and happy to be a part of it.”

Welcome to the BCPC, Nila, and congratulations on completing your chemo!


Nila with her nurse Angela

Nila with her nurse Angela


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BCPC’s Karen Eckert Receives Giving Your Best Award

Karen Eckert accepting "Giving Your Best" award from WJBF News Channel 6's Jenna Lee Wright.

Karen Eckert, right, accepts “Giving Your Best” award from WJBF News Channel 6’s Jenna Lee Wright.

The Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition (BCPC) congratulates BCPC Vice-President and Executive Board member Karen Eckert on receiving the November, 2012 WJBF News Channel 6 “Giving Your Best” award.  WJBF selects one local winner each month from nominations submitted by the community.  Karen is featured in an article and video on the WJBF website. Winners are also honored at the Annual Giving Your Best Jefferson Awards Banquet.

BCPC President Nita Zachow nominated Karen, citing Karen’s dedication and fundraising efforts, on top of numerous other commitments.

As a BCPC board member, Karen is Nita’s right hand, organizing meetings, serving as a liaison, and leading several fund-raising activities. Karen is the coordinator of a very successful (and huge) “Find the Cure” educational and fundraising program that takes place in local middle and high schools during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

One of Karen’s significant contributions was the 2011 production of a wellness video, Breast Cancer Prevention for Teens.  The goal of the video, and one of Karen’s personally, is to send middle and high school students the message that good nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent breast cancer and other diseases.   Karen wrote, directed, and produced the video which features TV anchor Jennie Montgomery and local physician Dr. Robert Pendergrast.   The video is now shown each October in over 20 schools to thousands of teens.

Karen volunteers weekly at the Georgia Health Sciences University Cancer Center where you will generally find her in The Image Boutique.  There, she assists ladies with purchasing bras, wigs, jewelry, hats, and scarves. Most importantly, she offers a ready smile and makes everyone feel good. Karen also helps in the Infusion area, offering patients a warm blanket, a drink or snack.

As a member of Aiken Master Gardener Association (AMGA), Karen volunteers for AMGA projects including “Meet A Master Gardener” and “Rent A Master Gardener”.  She also coordinates information and speakers for her community garden club, The Mount Vintage Plantation Transplants.

When asked about Karen’s nomination, Nita Zachow said “I nominated Karen for the “Giving Your Best” award because she is one of the most competent, dedicated, caring ladies I know. Karen is most deserving of this award and I am most pleased that she has been selected as the winner!”

Congratulations, Karen! The award is well-deserved.

BCPC members and friends with Karen

BCPC members and friends share Karen’s special moment

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Mount Vintage Victors Raise $19,000 for Breast Cancer Research

Pink Golf ShoeThe results are in!  The Fourth Annual Vintage Victors for a Cure Golf Tournament and Fundraising Dinner raised over $19,000 for the Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition (BCPC).  The amount exceeded last year’s by more than $2,000 and brings the overall total raised by the tournament to $60,000. The BCPC would like to thank the golfers and local business sponsors for their generosity and support.

All contributions (%100) will be donated to Georgia Health Sciences University for breast cancer research.

The BCPC would also like to extend a special thanks to the wonderful women responsible for this tremendous achievement.  The tournament committee, led by Diane Benarick, continues to come up with innovative ways to increase the fun-factor and success of raising funds for breast cancer research.  Just ask any of the participants about the joy of being part of the event!

Picture of 2012 Vintage Victors Tournament Committee

Committee Members: Susan Gorringe, Mary Beth Smith, Pat Roberts, JoAnne Maggio, Barb Wetherell, Diane Benarick (Chairman), Susie Hodgen, Melinda Anderson, Theresa Bone, Sydia Anderson, Alma Falcone; Not pictured: Marcella Gleie, Nita Zachow

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Head to Mimi’s for the Pink Out Send-Off Party on October 25 at Noon

The Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition (BCPC) would like to thank Mimi’s Boutique & Intimates for donating a portion of bra sales during the month of October to the BCPC for cancer research.  On Thursday, October 25, Mimi’s will have a send-off for all balloons purchased in memory or honor of someone who has had breast cancer.  Those proceeds will also be donated to the BCPC, so head to Mimi’s for the send-off!  Their store is beautiful and well stocked!

Flyer announcing Mimi's Pink-Out Send-off

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Check ’em Out!

It’s October and, by now, everyone knows this is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  The Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition (BCPC) reminds everyone that Breast Self Exam (BSE) is an important factor in early detection.

Make sure you check yours out every month!

For more info, see the articles Most Women Find Their Own Breast Cancers and Reducing your Risk of Developing Breast Cancer.

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Filed under Breast Cancer Awareness, Wellness

Participate in October 11th Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Seminar

BCPC and GHSU Breast Cancer Support group members are invited to hear Cathy Furbish, Director of Physical Therapy from MyTurningPoint, as she speaks about breast cancer rehabilitation to the GHSU Physical Therapy students  on Thursday, October 11, 2012.  MyTurningPoint is a non-profit organization started  in 2003 to help address the unmet needs of breast cancer survivors. Their  website is

This will be a great opportunity for students to have contact with real survivors, rather than just hearing or reading about them. BCPC and Breast Cancer Support group members are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions at no charge.

Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Thursday, Oct0ber 11, 2012
GHSU College of Allied Health Sciences (Room EC 1222)
(next door to the Cancer Center)
Parking is available in the Cancer Center parking  deck

9-12  a.m.

  • Brief  overview of cancer types and staging, medical treatment and  reconstruction.
  • Discussion  of common issues / impairments (including lymphedema)
  • Discuss  evaluation/outcomes measures

12 – 1

  • Lunch Break*  (Visit the Cancer Center where the GHSU Breast  Cancer Support Group will be having their annual purse fund raising event.)

1 – 3  p.m.

  • Discuss PT  treatment/exercise, and rehabilitation
  • Demonstration  of manual lymph drainage, compression wrapping / view and handle compression  garments
  • Case study/treatment planning

These sessions are free to BCPC and Breast Cancer Support group members and require no reservations.

* Options for purchasing lunch include a small selection of sandwiches and salads in the Cancer Center lobby or an extensive menu at the Terrace Dining room on the second floor of the Medical Center.

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Mark your Calendars: October 6, 2012

Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) women and men have a unique opportunity to participate in two free Breast Cancer Prevention campaigns on October 6, 2012.  Plan to attend and bring a friend to enjoy both.

Hear Dr. Robert Pendergrast

“Breast Cancer:  Reduce Your Risk
with Foods You Love”

Saturday, October 6, 2012
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
New Life Natural Foods Conference Room
2825 Washington Rd., Augusta, GA
(Fairway Shopping Center)

This event is free and open to the public.

Did you know that certain foods help reduce your risk of breast cancer?  You will be surprised at how many of your favorites are also cancer busters.  Learn more from an expert as Robert Pendergrast, MD,  speaks at the CSRA Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition’s (BCPC’s)  fall meeting. Lunch and a short business meeting begin at 11:00.  Dr. Pendergrast’s presentation will start at noon.

Please RSVP to Nita Zachow (803) 279-6019 or Karen Eckert (803) 279-8031 by October 1.  You may purchase food at New Life Natural Foods to enjoy during the lecture. To pre-order a lunch, call DiChickO’s at (706) 737-8805 by October 5.  You will find the menu online.  Only food purchased at New Life Natural Foods may be brought into the conference room.

You can contact Dr. Pendergrast and find more wellness strategies at

After Lunch, head to the Pink-out Party at

Mimi’s boutique & Intimates

Mimi’s Boutique & Intimates is sponsoring a fundraiser to benefit the BCPC.  The Kick-Off Party starts at 1:00 at their Washington Road location.  Please stop by after hearing Dr. Pendergrast.  The party will include free bra fittings and massage therapist Susan Dykes. Susan’s services can be very helpful to women going through chemotherapy.

Mimi’s boutique & Intimates

Mimi’s has two area locations:

2701 Washington Rd, Suite 18 • National Hills
(by Fresh Market)
Augusta, GA 30909 • PH: 706-733-5547
Hours: M,T,W,F, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Thurs. 10:00-8:00 pm,
Sat. 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Sunday closed

601 North Belair Square, Ste. One • Evans Town Center Blvd.
Evans, GA 30809 • PH: 706-210-2882
Hours: M-F, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sat. 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Sunday closed

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Filed under Breast Cancer Awareness, Events, Fundraising, Meetings