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Pink Days at The Rose

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HOUSTON – Pink Days at The Rose are monthly doses of October. The cupcakes are pink. The punch is pink. The tables are covered in pink. Pink is on the playlist. And usually, the artwork tends toward pink.

 

While many businesses and organizations support breast cancer awareness during the nationwide emphasis in the fall, Pink Ribbons Project and The Rose “bring out the pink” the first Tuesday of every month with art classes deemed Pink Days at The Rose. Envisioned initially as a pleasant distraction while women await word on diagnostic screenings, Pink Days have become a community-supported endeavor reflecting the collaborative spirit often seen at annual walks, runs, and fundraisers.

 

October’s featured artist was – fittingly – a breast cancer survivor, sculptor and painter, and art gallery owner. Lori Betz had previously led one of the Pink Days and was delighted to return to provide instruction on jewelry-making. Assisting Betz were volunteers from Houston Community College’s Community Health Workers program and Methodist Hospital’s I CARE in Action volunteer program.

 

And among those volunteers were two other women who also shared a battle with the disease everyone in the room was seeking to avoid.

 

Laurie Nash, Senior Applications Analyst at Methodist, was attracted to sign up for activities at The Rose through the new I CARE in Action program because her mother is a 25-year breast cancer survivor. “I’ve had my close calls as well -- two benign tumors removed,” the Pearland resident acknowledged. “So I understand what it feels like to have the unknown in front of you as you wait for the next bit of information. Something this warm and inviting – like Pink Days – can take your mind off of it.”

 

Nash shared that she felt somewhat “like a number” as she donned her hospital gown, sat alone, and waited to be called for diagnostics during her previous health scares.

 

“As an insured woman, I knew I didn’t have to worry about the financial side of care, but I was and am concerned about the emotional aspect and that’s why [Pink Days] are so important.”

 

Maria V. Linares was back for her second time as a volunteer for Pink Days. Currently studying to be certified as a Community Health Worker, she came into October’s jewelry-making experience wearing the pink ribbon she had received at the recent Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The  resident of southeast Houston  has discovered a passion for helping other women understand how to check on and speak up for their own health – something she had to do as an uninsured woman needing help after finding a lump in her breast. Her tenacious research led her to The Rose where she received her diagnosis and navigation to treatment at MD Anderson. She is now a two-year survivor.

 

“I started volunteering this year and I just can’t stop,” Linares confessed with a smile. “I want to share what I learned with people who are scared about what they may find. I tell them, ‘Take one step at a time….Don’t let your imagination run away with you.’”

 

Linares’ passion has led her to leave a job she’s held for 15 years with a glass company in order to pursue a career where she can have “an impact on my community.”

 

“I want to make a difference in other people’s lives,” she explained. “I have the feeling that I’m doing that when I’m here [at Pink Days at The Rose].”

 

Both visits have produced opportunities to connect to women as they waited for the results of their diagnostic procedures.

 

“When they express fear, I tell them, ‘You are strong. You can take control. You keep making those phone calls,’” she said. “Today, one woman told me, ‘I haven’t had anybody hug me in a long time’. . . . So, yes, I’ll be back for the next Pink Day.”

 

Betz was grateful for the assistance of these women and several others as woman after woman peeked into the conference room-turned-art-studio during her day of instruction. Diagnosed at 28 years of age, she’s a big believer in creating a positive atmosphere.

 

“Attitude is 80% of recovery,” was among the truths she discovered in her bout with the disease.

 

And a positive attitude is what led her to accept a day-long stint as a Pink Day instructor when she was in the midst of relocating Betz Art Gallery on West Gray to the same Summer Street warehouse space where she launched Betz Art Foundry in April. Planning a grand opening in mid-November, Betz will continue to mix her love of art and her commitment to nonprofits like The Rose.

 

For more information on Betz’ work, visit www.betzgallery.com. The I CARE In Action program offers Methodist employees a unique opportunity to help make a difference in the greater Houston community by encouraging employees to volunteer their time and provide their expertise and passion to assist others. Methodist grants eligible employees some paid time to volunteer at approved community organizations. Community Health Workers (CHWs) work in association with the local health care system to bridge the gap between providers and underserved populations in need of care.

 

Pink Days at The Rose are held the first Tuesday of each month at The Rose Galleria, 5420 West Loop South, Suite 3300, Bellaire. As part of the Pink Days, Pink Ribbons Project covers the costs of the initial screening mammogram of uninsured clients who book on those Tuesdays. Should further services be necessary for those uninsured clients, Pink Ribbons Project will cover those costs as well. To book an appointment during the Pink Days at The Rose program, call


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