Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Celebrates Cancer Survivors
Methodist Richardson Medical Center (MRMC) hosted the fourth annual Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for breast cancer survivors on Sept. 22. As Breast Cancer Awareness Month quickly approaches, women came together to celebrate their courageous journey fighting breast cancer. In addition, they learned more about 3-D mammography along the way. Donning their most creative hats, the morning was filled with laughter, tears and stories of triumph. The details of the day were on perfect display as women mingled and made lifelong memories.
Guests did their best not to be late for this very important date. As they began arriving promptly at 10:30 a.m., an entire floor was dedicated to showing these strong women how truly special they are. They made jewelry, received makeovers, manicures and relaxing massages, then enjoyed the tea party and fashion show.
Dallas United Crew (DUC) was also at the event sharing uplifting stories of hope and inspiration. What started out as youth and adult rowing on White Rock Lake, later expanded to include dragon boat teams. Dallas United PINK soon became the first breast cancer survivor dragon boat team in the area. Their coach, Dallas United’s Jovin Lim, promotes strength on the water to help breast cancer survivors thrive while living a healthy lifestyle. After the success of Dallas United PINK, they started adaptive rowing for paralyzed veterans.
Dallas United PINK team member, Debbie Bunch-Kehoe, is a 22-year breast cancer survivor. “I was diagnosed when I was 39. After having a mastectomy, two years later it came back to my lymph nodes. I was going through chemotherapy again when I discovered dragon boating. I was thinking during that time that I’m definitely going to die,” Bunch-Kehoe tearfully said. “There was a dragon boat festival on the lake in Oregon while I was downtown feeling sorry for myself. When the announcer said the next race was breast cancer survivors, I looked over and saw four boatloads of women wearing pink life jackets and holding pink paddles. I wasn’t even finished with chemotherapy when I joined the group. I became really involved and even started coaching a special needs team.”
At noon, “More than a Woman to Me” by the Bee Gees could be heard as guests arrived for the tea party. The DJ welcomed everyone to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party before giving away incredible door prizes. MRMC President Ken Hutchenrider gave an inspiring speech to the brave women in attendance. Lunch was promptly served as a pink carpet was rolled out and the fashion show began. “We want to celebrate our fighters and survivors of breast cancer,” said MRMC Director of Community Relations Jan Arrant. “Our fashion show models are modeling Chico’s and are all cancer fighters and survivors. Breast cancer is one of Chico’s philanthropies, so we really love what they do.”
Guest speakers were Dr. Denise Johnson, who is a Murphy resident, and Dr. Jenevieve Hughes. Johnson is board certified in family medicine and received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Hughes is a board certified general surgeon who attended Texas A&M College of Medicine specializing in breast surgery and breast disease.
Fresh flowers adorned table tops with pink napkins and keepsake party frames. Tiers of pastries included macaroons and fruit cakes with a variety of hor d’oeuvres. MRMC Executive Chef Salvador Gomez prepared classic chicken salad sandwiches with pecans, along with cucumber sandwiches, potato salad and smoked salmon. Fresh fruit was also served with fruit parfait and jalapeno cheddar biscuits topped with orange marmalade and goat cheese. Along with an assortment of tea, guests were offered strawberry lemonade, iced tea and water. As the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party came to an end, cancer patients and survivors bid farewell after a wonderful day of friendship, pampering and fun