Details of the annual “Praise Is The Cure Week of Hope Health and Healing 2012” took place recently at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.
Among the guest speakers at the event were Maria Pajil Battle, president of the AmeriHealth Foundation; Kerri Conner Matchett, author of “My Mommy Has Breast Cancer, but it is OK,” radio personality Doug Henderson, a member of the “Real Men Wear Pink” all-male breast cancer support group, and the Rev. Charles W. Quann, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church and whose wife and other relatives suffered with breast cancer.
“As the president of the new foundation I will be involved in taking our health ministry nationally,” Battle said. “We are going to be taking this health ministry to rural South Carolina this October. Our tour will then go around the country sharing new information about breast cancer, asthma and other (diseases). It’s important to have something like this that raises awareness and is a labor of love.”
The kickoff breakfast opened with welcome remarks from Bishop Ernest C. Morris, Sr., senior pastor of Mount Airy Church of God in Christ. After breakfast was served, Praise is the Cure founder Anita T. Conner, of Elkins Parks, gave an overview of the initative.
“Last year approximately 20,000 received literature and information about breast cancer awareness on Praise Sunday,” she said.
Matchett then shared her story of learning she had breast cancer when her daughter was only two years old. Searching and being unable to find a children’s book to help her daughter understand breast cancer led Matchett to pen her own publication. She said that the message of this was to never give up.
“I spent time with my wife and others who were in hospice with breast cancer,” Quann said. He decided to be one of the few African Americans on the board of Abington Hospital because of his experience as a caregiver. “I am no longer timid about wearing pink because it’s all about raising awareness of early detection.”
The Praise Is The Cure Week events is hosted by the George E. Thorne Development Center. Among the events is a citywide community Breast Cancer Awareness Day at some 75 churches for what has become known as Praise Sunday. There will also be a children’s festival, health fair screenings, wellness workshops, and a pampering party for breast cancer patients and survivors.
The highlight will be the Hope, Health & Healing Gospel Extravaganza to be held at the Mount Airy Church of God in Christ, 6401 Ogontz Ave. in West Oak Lane on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Featured artists will be Hezekiah Walker, the Brockington Ensemble, and LFC. It will be hosted by Patty Jackson.
Sponsors of the Praise Is The Cure series are Anita T. Conner & Associates, Keystone Mercy, the AmeriHealth Mercy Foundation, the Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Mount Airy Church of God in Christ. For more information about Praise for the Cure call (215) 635-1025 or visit www.praiseisthecure.org.