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April 19, 2011 > Honoring people with purpose

Honoring people with purpose

By Alissa Gwynn
Photos By courtesy of Karen Jackson

One in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer within her lifetime. For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer. As a disease that affects so many people across different ethnic backgrounds and family histories, breast cancer is an unpredictable and somewhat mysterious disease that has only recently yielded to progress of medical treatment options. A variety of support groups and foundations have been established to assist those affected by breast cancer, providing a continuum of care and raise awareness to lower the risk of developing or allowing the progression of undetected breast cancer.

HERS Breast Cancer Foundation, is hosting the Second Annual "People With Purpose" luncheon honoring Susan Buseck, MSW, Vandana B. Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., Rina Olea, and Lisa Stambaugh with Hope, Empowerment, Renewal, and Support awards, respectively, on Thursday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in Milpitas.

The luncheon will feature a two-course meal and presentation by keynote speaker Bo Caldwell, best-selling author of The Distant Land of My Father and City of Tranquil Light and breast cancer survivor. Caldwell was diagnosed with stage I breast cancer in 2004, and much like other cancer patients, underwent a series of chemotherapy and radiation treatments soon thereafter. Today she is cancer-free, and says of her experience, "having a serious illness...deepened my faith. When I was diagnosed, I'd never faced a challenge like this before. It forced me to rely in God in a way I never had before."

Caldwell's second novel published in September 2010, City of Tranquil Light, was heavily influenced by her experience with cancer. She began the book in 2002, wrote about 80 pages, and had kept the project on the back burner for nearly four years until 2006, when she was inspired to finish the remainder of the novel. She says, "It wouldn't have been the same novel [if I hadn't been affected by cancer]; it was deeply influenced by my experience."

All guests at the luncheon will receive an autographed copy of Caldwell's novel, The Distant Land of My Father, included in the ticket price of $65. All proceeds will benefit HERS Breast Foundation's four programs: Bras for Body & Soul(r), We Support, You Survive, Lymphedema Project, and Hair with Care. Karen Jackson, Community Development Director of HERS Breast Cancer Foundation, says, "[our fundraisers] enable us to serve any woman regardless of financial status."

For more information or to purchase tickets, email

People With Purpose Luncheon
Thursday, April 28
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Sheraton San Jose Hotel
1801 Barber Lane, Milpitas

Tickets: $65

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