PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (Oct. 31, 2014) – Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District showed the ultimate sign of support for a coworker going through cancer treatments.
Four Youghiogheny Lake staffers proudly displayed their bald heads during a National Breast Cancer Awareness Month program, Oct. 28, which took on a personal note.
In June, Park ranger Suzanne Estock heard the words that every women dreads – you have breast cancer.
“Suzanne is so strong,” Rick Miller, acting resource manager, said. “I saw her coming to work every day even though she was going through treatment and had lost her hair. She didn’t let it stop her. Her dedication to her job and to our customers never changed.”
Because of her dedication, the team wanted to show their support. They decided have an awareness program, but Jim Stark, Rodney Williams, Matt Slezak and Miller wanted to show their support in a slightly different way.
“Suzanne’s courage allowed us to see that breast cancer is something we can talk about and learn from,” Miller said. “I have learned so much, and I have shared what I have learned with my family and other people. I think that’s the whole point to Breast Cancer Awareness Month – to get people talking.”
Getting people talking and building understanding is exactly why Nancy Abbott, a lake project assistant, organized the awareness program.
“I work side-by-side Suzanne every day, I understand what she’s going through,” Abbott said. “My father had cancer and I saw the toll it took on my family, so this is something that is near and dear to my heart.”
The program consisted of three short videos, breast cancer awareness, men’s breast cancer awareness and a music video by Martina McBride called ‘I’m Gonna Love You Through It’. In addition to the videos, the team discussed breast cancer fact sheets which included information about both men’s and women’s breast cancer.
The program coincided with Estock’s latest chemotherapy treatment. Currently, she is at the midway point in her treatment.
“It’s so important that cancer patients have a strong support network,” Abbott said. “So much of our day is spent at work, and when someone on the team is going through something like this, we all go through it. We’re a team, and I wanted Suzanne to know we’re here for her. We’re on her team.”
The team made a donation to the American Cancer Society for each shaved head.