Lake Eola Park has turned bright pink with faux flamingos to encourage residents to “Join the Flock” and raise money for uninsured women battling breast cancer.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, District 3 Commissioner Robert Stuart, and 4Rivers Smokehouse owner John Rivers struck one-legged poses Wednesday to launch the initiative.
The 4Rivers restaurant group is donating $1 to the Florida Hospital Breast Cancer Care Fund for every post that includes a photo of someone striking a flamingo pose with the hashtag #jointheflock.
The hospital’s annual Pink Out initiative provides access to care for underserved and uninsured women battling breast cancer and supports them throughout their journey.
Since 2011, the fund has supported more than 6,500 patients through financial assistance to receive screenings and diagnostic testing. Of those screened through the funding, 76 were found to have breast cancer. The patients were offered treatment with additional financial assistance from the hospital’s cancer fund.
Flocks of flamingos can be found in October in 12 Central Florida cities along with the number of women diagnosed this year with breast cancer. During 2017, 1,890 women have been diagnosed with the disease in Central Florida and 897 cases were in Orlando.
Tarralyn Jones spoke eloquently about her breast cancer journey. The Altamonte Springs event designer was diagnosed at 35 and went through eight rounds of an aggressive chemotherapy treatment in 2002. Six years later the cancer reoccurred and she went through radiation. Three years ago, doctors found two tumors in her brain and she had surgery and radiation.
“The cancer diagnosis was devastating but the good news is that I received great care and I’m now cancer free,” Jones said.
In honor of breast cancer awareness month, Florida Hospital is offering $30 mammograms in October and women do not need a doctor’s prescription.
“We’re making the exams convenient and affordable because they are so vital to early detection and treatment,” said Dr. Lisa Minton, a Florida Hospital breast surgeon.