MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon

Guests at Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women Luncheon on Thursday, October 26, at the Hilton Anatole had more to celebrate than raising mega funds for breast cancer. They discovered a new BFF — guest speaker Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Powell and Julie Powell

Lindalyn Adams and Jamie Lee Curtis

While some admitted that they had had no preconceived ideas about the day’s program chaired by Tucker Enthoven, they left the event delighted with Jamie’s honesty, openness, humor and range of subject matter. In fact, one luncheon-attending vet claimed that not since last year’s Hoda Kotb and Tim Gunn appearance had they been so impressed with a presentation.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Robin Robinson

The post is being prepared, so check out the pictures on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Aileen Pratt and Jamie Lee Curtis

Peggy Riggs, Jamie Lee Curtis and Leonard Riggs

Tucker Enthoven, Jamie Lee Curtis, Robin Robinson and Ola Fojtasek

PS — For those who are aficionados of the art of posing for photographers, check out Jamie at the grip-and-grin session. Observers noted how she always stood erect with her head up, looked at the camera straight on, never struck the “sorority-girl pose” and crossed her legs at the ankle in every shot. If you get a chance, just try to strike the “Jamie pose.” It’s a balancing act, but it works.

Thanks To Beautiful Weather, Celebrating Women Patrons Partied Outdoors As Well As Indoors At Cameron And Clay Smith’s Home

Tuesday, October 24, should have been designated “patron night.” With the Dallas Historical Society’s “Award of Excellence Luncheon” patrons at Mary McDermott Cook’s hilltop nest in west Dallas and The Senior Source’s “Spirit of Generations” at Kathy and Larry Helms’ Park Cities home, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s “Celebrating Women” held forth north of town at Cameron and Clay Smith’s digs.

Barbara Stuart, Cynthia Mitchell and Di Johnston

Thanks to the weather being a step above perfect, the Smith’s backyard terrace accommodated the overflow crowd that had Mercedes, Lexuses and other wonderful wheels parked along all the roads leading to house.

Vinnie Reuben

Gathered on round settee in the living room were back-from-the-northeast Cynthia Mitchell with pals Di Johnston and Barbara Stuart across the way from John Stuart and Vinnie Reuben, who is making her victory lap before moving to California at the end of the year.

Tincy Miller, Mary Ann Cree and Jo Anne McCullough

Tincy Miller, Jo Anne McCullough, Mary Ann Cree, Nancy Carter, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Emilynn and Claude Wilson, Ann Dyer, Margaret and Lester Keliher with daughter Margaret Keliher Hughes, David Camp and Julia Welborn were in the dining room tasting and talking. Pam Perella was giving rave reviews of the Tom Thumb in Turtle Creek Village to Tom Thumb First Lady Connie Yates.

Lester Keliher, Margaret Keliher Hughes and Margaret Keliher

And speaking of first lady types, Lindalyn Adams slowly made her way through the crowd. The problems wasn’t her walk. It was that folks kept stopping to talk with her.

Tucker Enthoven and Jim and Kristen Hinton

Pat McEvoy, Ola Fojtasek, Susan Farris, Robin Robinson and Susan McSherry

On the terrace were Julie Ford, Pat McEvoy, Susan McSherry, Richard Shaw, Susan Farris, Julie Ramirez and Kristen Hinton and husband/Baylor Scott and White CEO Jim Hinton were congratulating Celebrating Women Chair Tucker Enthoven for her early sell-out of the fundraiser, while Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson was doing the same for Celebrating Women Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek.

Double Sold-Out Alert!: Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women Luncheon And Annual Grand Rounds Golf Tournament

Kicking off October is a trifecta of good news items about healthcare and fund raising. First, deaths resulting from breast cancer have dropped by almost 40% in the U.S.

Second, Celebrating Women’s Chair Tucker Enthoven and her Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek just sent word that the Thursday, October 26, fundraiser for Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s new research and treatment options for women fighting breast cancer is sold out.

Leonard and Peggy Riggs

Thanks to the popularity of the annual luncheon, Tucker’s committee of 160, Honorary Co-Chairs Peggy and Dr. Leonard Riggs Jr., and having Jamie Lee Curtis as keynote speaker, 1,300 have signed up to lunch and listen at the Hilton Anatole. Thanks to this type of funding, the drop in death rates will continue. The more funding, the faster that drop will take place.

BTW, the Baylor Foundation team also reports that their 16th Annual Grand Rounds Golf Tournament that’s being held at the Dallas Country Club on Monday, October 23 is also sold out!

If you were one of the early birds and got your spot reserved, congrats. If not, you can always resort to begging with check in hand. And if that doesn’t work, why not sign up for the 2017 Health Harvest Fun Walk/5K Run and Expo on Saturday, October 28?

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2017 Celebrating Women Luncheon

According to Celebrating Women Luncheon Chair Tucker Enthoven and Underwriting Chair Ola Fojtasek,

Ola Fojtasek and Tucker Enthoven (File photo)

Celebrating Women is the premier breast cancer luncheon in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Every year, it brings together more than 1,200 supporters to increase awareness and generate funding for breast cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Together, we can find a cure for this disease that affects so many women and families in our community.

Over the past 17 years, Celebrating Women donors have raised more than $28 million for the fight against breast cancer. These donations provide the women and men who pass through our doors access to advanced diagnostic equipment, innovative clinical research, and most importantly, safe, quality, compassionate care.

In the past 17 years, gifts to Celebrating Women have had an impact in four areas:

CAPITAL AND TECHNOLOGY

  • Funded a new, technologically advanced, mobile mammography van with the ability to screen more than 5,500 women each year at their place of business, in small communities and school districts throughout the Metroplex.
  • Advanced digital technology for breast cancer screening, diagnosis and interventional procedures including digital mammography, Positron Emission Mammography and MRI breast biopsy.

MEDICAL EDUCATION

  • Funded a Celebrating Women Oncology Nurse Educator to develop ongoing education, training and certification for oncology nurses to meet the changing and specialized needs of cancer patients.
  • Created a Celebrating Women Education Fund. We are making investments today to secure the future health of our daughters and granddaughters by training medical leaders with the ability to treat, and maybe even cure, breast cancer.

PATIENT-CENTERED PROGRAMS

  • Expanded the genetics counseling program in order to empower patients with the information they need to better evaluate their treatment options, earlier than ever before. These advances will allow physicians and scientists to develop more targeted treatments and save more lives.
  • Funded a patient navigation program to assist breast cancer patients with their emotional and educational needs as well as with coordinating their care throughout their journey. Since 2008, this program has provided services to more than 4,000 breast cancer patients.
  • Increased access to breast cancer services through the Gift of Life Fund, raising nearly $1.5 million for services to women throughout the region who could not afford to pay.

RESEARCH

  • Funded innovative work to find a cure. Baylor is currently involved in several research studies to determine better ways to diagnose and treat breast cancer, including a gene sequencing trial that could result in more personalized therapies and treatment options for patients.
  • Created a Celebrating Women Chair in Breast Cancer Research. The chair holder developed a pilot study to test the efficacy of a vaccine on triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease.

Make plans to join us on Thursday, October 26, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel with featured speaker Jamie Lee Curtis.  Visit the Celebrating Women website for tickets and sponsorship information.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2016 Celebrating Women Luncheon

Practically everyone added Rita Wilson to their Christmas card list after attending the 17th Annual Baylor Health Care System Foundation‘s Celebrating Women Luncheon on Thursday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

Rita Wilson and Robin Robinson

Rita Wilson and Robin Robinson

Instead of giving a talk from the podium, she simply had a chat with Foundation President Robin Robinson. At times it felt like the Chantilly Ballroom was a living room with 1,200 buds sitting around.

Aileen Pratt

Aileen Pratt

Gloria Eulich Martindale

Gloria Eulich Martindale

While the post is being completed, check out the faces on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. But if you’re looking for Celebrating Women First Lady Lindalyn Adams, you’re gonna come up short. She was home under the weather and had to miss this one. And in turn Lindalyn was missed.

Celebrating Women Letter Signing Provided The Opportunity To Get Letters Out And Meet The Newest Member Of Michal Powell’s Home

The dining room table has become something like crazy Aunt Hattie, who is only seen on holidays. That is unless there’s a non-profit letter signing. Then the table is hit with all hands on deck plus loads of conversations and stacks of letters inviting folks to participate in the upcoming event.

But for the Celebrating Women Luncheon, the letter signing at Michal Powell’s on Thursday, April 7, was a tad bit different. Sure, the dining room table was ground zero with Lindalyn Adams, Ann Dyer, Margo Goodwin, Angie Kadesky, Vinnie Reuben, Barbara Stuart, Kristina Whitcomb and Pam McCallum putting their John Hancocks on letters, but there was activity in other parts of the house, too.

Vinnie Reuben

Vinnie Reuben

Lindalyn Adams and Ann Dyer

Lindalyn Adams and Ann Dyer

Just past the kitchen with the delicious chicken salad was the enclosed veranda, where Michal and Celebrating Women Chair Aileen Pratt learned about the good old days at the State Fair.

Aileen Pratt

Aileen Pratt

Gloria Eulich Martindale

Gloria Eulich Martindale

Thanks to Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen and Michal found out that way back itty bitty painted turtles and chameleons on threads were the take-away from the Fair. That practice ended years ago due to the fact that the paint eventually destroyed the turtles’ shells and the chameleons didn’t fare much better.

And speaking of turtles, Michal revealed that in addition to grand-puppy-sitting Ollie, she had added Houdini, the turtle to the family. It seems that she had literally come across Houdini as he was walking on the Park Cities road. Screeching to a stop, she popped out of her car, halting traffic and took the shelled reptile home.

Michal Powell and Ollie

Michal Powell and Ollie

While the testudine is happily residing in a private garden in the Powells’ backyard, s/he tends to try an explore climbing over the fencing and landing on his/her side. In turn Ollie has been fascinated by Houdini. But whenever Ollie tries to get Houdini to play, the turtle withdraws into his/her shelled home.

But the day was not about Houdini or Ollie or the State Fair. It was about breast cancer conqueror Rita Wilson’s being the featured speaker at the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s luncheon on Thursday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

As letters were being signed, Susan McSherry reported that Rita would be appearing the next night at The Kessler and she was going to check her out. In addition to having produced “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” being married to Tom Hanks and being an actress herself, Rita is a singer and has just released an album with one of the tracks, “Crying, Crying” inspired from her recent breast cancer battle.

2016 Celebrating Women Plans Revealed Including Rita Wilson And Diane And Joel Allison Plus Sponsorship Opportunities

The couture salon of Neiman Marcus Downtown looked like a high-price trunk show collection on the morning of Tuesday, April 5, with loads of the fashionable fundraising types checking out the clothes. Actually, they were there for the announcement of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s 2016 Celebrating Women Luncheon.

Outside the flagship store, Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Jen Huntsberry waited. It was such a beautiful day compared to a year ago when it was damp and rainy. But Jen wasn’t just taking in the rays. She was waiting for Baylor Scott And White Health COO John McWhorter. This was his first time to attend the annual reveal.

Robin Robinson, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen Pratt and John McWhorter

Robin Robinson, Gloria Eulich Martindale, Aileen Pratt and John McWhorter

No sooner had John appeared on NM’s second floor than he was being photographed with 2016 Celebrating Women Chair Aileen Pratt, Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale and Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson.

Barbara Stuart, Lindalyn Adams, Robin Robinson, Christie Carter, Nancy Carter, Margo Goodwin, Pam Perella, Carol Seay and Susan McSherry

Barbara Stuart, Lindalyn Adams, Robin Robinson, Christie Carter, Nancy Carter, Margo Goodwin, Pam Perella, Carol Seay and Susan McSherry

And then he watched as various photo setups took place including all the past luncheon chairs like Nancy Carter, Christie Carter, Barbara Stuart, Susan McSherry, Margo Goodwin, Carol Seay and Pam Perella and Celebrating Women Luncheon Queen Mother Lindalyn Adams.

Rita Wilson*

Rita Wilson*

As deviled eggs made the rounds, the gals and fellas found themselves herded into the Glass House to hear that Tom Hanks’ sweetheart, Rita Wilson, would be the featured speaker on Thursday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

As for the honorary co-chairs, this year is gonna be a couple that has been part of the Baylor effort to treat and research breast cancer — Diane and Baylor Scott And White Health President/CEO Joel Allison, who is making his victory lap to his stepping down on February 1, 2017.

Tickets are on sale now, plus all types of sponsorship opportunities. The following sponsorships have already been snapped up: Presenting Sponsor — Tom Thumb, Patron Party — Comerica Bank, VIP Reception — PlainsCapital Bank, Luncheon Invitation — Sidley Austin LLP and Luncheon Program — Allie Beth Allman.

Celebrating Women Luncheon’s Joan Lunden Has A New Look And A New Book Thanks To Her Victory Over Breast Cancer

It’s been a little over a year since former “Good Morning America” host Joan Lunden was diagnosed with breast cancer. Like many who have battled the disease, Joan lost her trademark blonde hair. Instead of hiding, she became a warrior sharing her battle with the rest of the world by being the cover girl of People Magazine without her wig.

In addition to recently announcing she was in total remission, Joan also became a grandmamma for a second time when her oldest daughter Jamie Krauss Hess gave birth to a baby boy — Mason Levi Hess — on Wednesday, September 9, and her blonde hair has grown back.

Leave it to Joan to adapt a new look with her fresh thatch of follicles. She describes it as both looking like a Chia pet and a rock star.

You might want to check the grandbaby and Joan’s new look in People Magazine. Or, better yet, why not get a first-hand look when Joan is the featured speaker at the Celebrating Women Luncheon at Hilton Anatole on Thursday, October 15, to raise funds to fight breast cancer.

And don’t forget to grab a copy of Joan’s book, “Had I Known,” that just hit bookstores today. And she’s “launched the streaming network Alive, which is dedicated to breast cancer and overall women’s health and wellness.” Luncheon Chair Nancy Carter will be one of the first in line to get her copy.

Update On Celebrating Women’s Keynote Speaker Joan Lunden’s Battle With Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Joan Lunden*

Joan Lunden*

Celebrating Women 2015 Chair Nancy Carter just got an update on keynote speaker Joan Lunden for the Baylor Health Care System Foundation fundraiser on Thursday, October 15. Diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in June 2014, Joan underwent 16 rounds of chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation, a lumpectomy and two blood transfusions.

Now the former “Good Morning America” host reports that her doctors have told her that she is cancer free.

It’s because of fund-supported research and developments that breast cancer is being diagnosed and treated sooner and sooner.

* Photo provided by Baylor Health 
Care System Foundation

Past Chairs And Friends Gathered At Neiman’s Downtown For Celebrating Women Luncheon Announcement

For the early birds, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof was at SMU for a breakfast benefiting CitySquare on Thursday, March 19. Later in the morning, Nancy Carter gathered the supporters of the 16th Annual Celebrating Women Luncheon together in the Neiman Marcus Downtown couture salon to learn about plans for the Baylor Health Care System Foundation fundraiser.

Rowland Robinson, Nancy Carter, Margo Goodwin and Joel Allison

Rowland Robinson, Nancy Carter, Margo Goodwin and Joel Allison

But before the news was revealed, the past chairs got together for a group photo. These women had all been touched by the disease either firsthand or through a loved one.

From the left (back ro): Nancy Carter, Pam Perella, Sarah Losinger, Christie Carter, Fredye Factor, Debbie Oates, Margot Godwin and Lisa Longino; (front row) Lindalyn Adams and Barbara Stuart

From the left (back ro): Nancy Carter, Pam Perella, Sarah Losinger, Christie Carter, Fredye Factor, Debbie Oates, Margo Godwin and Lisa Longino; (front row) Lindalyn Adams and Barbara Stuart

After the photo, Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Rowland “Robin” Robinson escorted Celebrating Women mother hen Lindalyn Adams to the “glass house” for the presentation.

Jeff Byron and Lindalyn Adams

Jeff Byron and Lindalyn Adams

Robin welcomed the crowd and introduced NM Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron, who told how this event was the result of a lunch with Lindalyn, Nancy, NM PR Marjon Henderson and Baylor Foundation’s Susan McSherry and Christina Goodwin.

As he finished his welcome and Robin returned to the podium and suggested that the store’s parking lot would be just the perfect size for the Baylor Mobile Mammography van. Without missing a beat, Jeff said that was an idea to pursue and did what any leader would do. He delegated the project to Marjon.

Nancy then announced the luncheon plans. It will be held on Thursday, October 15, at the Hilton Anatole with journalist/author/breast-cancer survivor Joan Lunden as the keynote speaker. For underwriting, Nancy has tapped Vicky Lattner and Beth Layton.

JUST IN: Former “Good Morning America” Host/Breast Cancer “Warrior” Joan Lunden To Headline Celebrating Women Luncheon

Rowland Robinson, Nancy Carter, Margot Goodwin and Joel Allison

Rowland Robinson, Nancy Carter, Margot Goodwin and Joel Allison

Neiman Marcus Downtown’s couture salon was filled with gals to learn the plans for the Celebrating Women luncheon fundraiser from Chair Nancy Carter. On the heels of last year’s “Good Morning America” news anchor Amy Robach, another “Good Morning America” gal is going to headline the Baylor Health Care System Foundation fundraiser to fight breast cancer.

No, it’s not a current member of the team. The speaker will be Joan Lunden, who co-hosted the ABC wake-up show from 1980-1997.

In addition to being front and center for such events as the 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympics and Charles’ and Diana’s wedding and interviewing numerous first families, she also raised a family including seven children.

Just this past June the 63-year-old blonde journalist/author/entrepreneur returned to “Good Morning America” to reveal that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She became a warrior in the battle enduring chemo and surgery. Just days after her 64th birthday in September, she appeared on the cover of People Magazine after having shaved her head.

More deets to follow, but did want you to know so you can lock down that date  Thursday, October 15, at the Hilton Anatole.

Celebrating Women Luncheoners Celebrate Surprise $1M Gift With Standing O’s For Amy Robach And Lindalyn Adams

Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson was nursing a secret Friday, October 24. He was busting to share the news, but he had to wait until the Celebrating Women Luncheon.

Celebrating Women

Celebrating Women

While luncheon patrons were starting to arrive for the VIP reception in the Wedgwood Room, mic checks were being held in the Chantilly Ballroom. Luncheon Co-Chairs Lisa Longino and Daffan Nettle were being asked if they were able to read the teleprompters. Like everything in the days, weeks and months beforehand, all was fine and dandy.

Among the crowd was a dazzling blonde with beautiful blue eyes in a hot pink dress. It was the keynote speaker/ Good Morning America’s Amy Robach, who had flown in the night before. It was hard to imagine looking at her that it had been just a year and 23 days ago that her seemingly perfect life that been turned upside down. But now she was heading to the Wedgwood Room to meet with others touched by breast cancer.

Lindalyn Adams, Fredye Factor and Christie Carter

Lindalyn Adams, Fredye Factor and Christie Carter (Scott Pharr in the background)

While Amy was handling the meet-and-greet beautifully at one end of the room, a second photo session developed at the other end. It all started when Anatole Catering Manager Scott Pharr asked to have his photo taken with Lindalyn Adams, the Foundation’s sweetheart and the one who years ago suggested the event to raise funds to battle breast cancer to Baylor Health Care System CEO Joel Allison. Then another person wanted their picture taken with Lindalyn and another and another and another.

Melissa Macatee, Robin Robinson and Barbara Stuart

Melissa Macatee, Robin Robinson and Barbara Stuart

In the meantime, others like Barbara Stuart, Melissa Macatee, Christie Carter, Fredye Factor, Angie Kadesky, Dian Malouf, Laura Stockdale, Lydia Novakov, Isabell Novakov, Carol Seay, Nancy Carter, Anne Reeder, Emilynn Wilson, Virginia Chandler Dyke and Luncheon Underwriting Chair Maggie Kipp, were just plain catching up. A couple wondered if there would be no-shows due to the funerals of Bunker Hunt and Pat McEvoy Sr. taking place that morning.

Just as the time was approaching for the ballroom doors to open for guests, a short presentation was made with Robin, Tom Thumb’s Connie Yates and Joel. Just as quickly, the room emptied with all heading to join the 1,200 in the ballroom.

Were there empty tables? No. It seems that the guests, who had attended the funerals, managed to make it to the luncheon, too, without missing the surprises of the day and a talk by Amy that had tears welling up throughout the room.

Robin Robinson

Robin Robinson

First the surprises. Following a welcome and acknowledgments by Lisa, Daffan and Joel, Robin just couldn’t contain his secret any longer. He revealed that just the day before he had received a surprise email from Erich Spangenberger, who wanted to pledge a $1M gift in honor of his wife Audrey. In his email, Erich wrote, “Even though it was almost 15 years ago, I wake up all the time from a dream, where I remember how sick Audrey was and that helpless feeling of just praying that she would last just another couple of days. There was not a good time in our lives and of all the things I’ve faced in my life this was by far the most difficult…. I hope that anything we can do will bring some comfort and hope to the women and families who have to endure this miserable experience. It is our honor to do so.”

Joel Allison

Joel Allison

Then it was Joel’s turn to reveal a surprise. He started off by saying, “No one can say, ‘No” to Lindalyn.” Then a video tribute commenced followed by Lisa and Daffan presenting a book with notes from all the past luncheon chairs and committee members to Lindalyn. Seated at the front row table with Amy, it was obvious from the expression on Lindalyn’s face that it had caught her totally off guard. She hardly had time to recover, when the mass of guests rose to their feet to applaud the 84-year-young breast cancer survivor. If she was blown away by the folks wanting to have their photos taken with her in the reception, she was in tears by this act.

Amy Robach, Lindalyn Adams, Daffan Nettle and Lisa Longino

Amy Robach, Lindalyn Adams, Daffan Nettle and Lisa Longino

Robin held up a small battery-operated tea light like the ones at each of the guest’s place. The lights in the room be dimmed. He asked for any who had lost someone to breast cancer to turn on their candle. Throughout the room tiny light appeared. Then he requested that all who had survived breast cancer turn on their candles, too. More beams of light appeared. Then co-survivors were asked to turn on their tea lights. Finally, he asked anyone who knew someone touched by breast cancer to turn their candles on. With that the ballroom looked like a universe of pink stars.

Following lunch (savory butternut squash bisque en croute; grilled breast of chicken with assorted Fall greens, red wine poached pear, pecan crusted goat cheese wafer, fresh fava beans and petite tomatoes with champagne vinaigrette; spicy cheese straw; and chocolate dipped cheesecake with berries), Robin presented the Circle of Care Award to Connie on behalf of Tom Thumb, that has been the presenting sponsor of the luncheon for that past 10 years. Connie’s own sister “went to heaven” five years ago because of breast cancer.

Amy Robach

Amy Robach

It then time for Amy to speak. Ever since Rob Lowe spoke at the luncheon a couple of years ago, there’s been a daunting challenge to match the “Wow!” factor. He was Hollywood cool, charming and had lost his mother and grandmother to breast cancer. Like Rob, Amy had incredible looks and was charming. But she had only recently encountered breast cancer firsthand. In fact, it was just 51 weeks ago that she had been diagnosed with the disease. True, her GMA buddy Robin Roberts had battled the disease, but until a producer suggested that she had a mammogram in a mamo-van live on air in Times Square, she’d never even had a mammogram. In fact, she thought the pitch to be rather ridiculous. What next? A pap smear? But she had absolutely no family history of breast cancer and “to be totally frank, I thought I was the last person in the world who could have breast cancer.”

When she sought advice from Robin, Roberts said, “Oh, you’re the one they asked?” Then Robin persuaded Amy to do it, if for no other reason than it might get another woman to have a lifesaving mammogram. She added that 80% of breast cancer patients have no family history. Amy was convinced.

So, she did her very first mammogram with cameras showing the exam to millions of people. Amy thought all was fine and the whole issue was behind her. There was a call to go over some questions and they wanted to take another look. Even then she thought it was just a “oops” in the film or just a calcium deposit. At this point, she “just annoyed.”

On October 30, she entered NYU for an 11:15 a.m. appointment thinking she would “be in and out.” After all she had to be at work at 1 p.m. — “I never made it to work that day.”

Amy Robach

Amy Robach

One after another image was taken. She was starting to get nervous but still didn’t think this could be cancer. Then they took a sonogram and she saw a mass in her right breast. It was followed by a biopsy. The radiologist said they would have the result in five to ten minutes and then asked if she had anyone who could be with her. Her response was, “I don’t have anybody.” Her family lived in another state and her husband, Andrew Shue was traveling. She put Andrew on the speakerphone. The radiologist said, “Mr. Shue, I need to ask you a question before I give you the results — “Are you driving?” It was that question that slapped Amy in the face that her life was changing dramatically. She had two malignant tumors in her breast that had spread to her lymph nodes. Like so many in the ballroom, she was overwhelmed with fear, confusion and anger.

She called her mom. With her voice quivering, Amy admitted that it was the hardest call she’d ever made. Her mother’s response was just two words — “We’re coming.”

Two weeks later she went public with her situation and leaned back in her chair saying, “Well, that’s over.” Robin said, “No, it’s just begun.”

She underwent a double mastectomy, the removal of her lymph nodes and chemo.

Ironically, it was Amy, who had replaced Robin on GMA while Roberts underwent treatments for cancer. When Amy arrived for that first chemo treatment, there was Roberts in the waiting room, who said, “I heard you’re sitting in my chair again.” Then she escorted Amy to the same chemo chair where she had had her treatments.

Now that’s she finished the chemo and the surgeries, she’s figuring out how to live. Cancer made her realize her own vulnerability. As her “husband likes to say, ‘Don’t die before you die.’”

She recalled a recent plane ride where she was seated next to a woman, whom she hadn’t seen in years. The woman started complaining about being in her 50’s and complaining about all of her wrinkles. “A year ago, I would have been commiserating and it was so interesting that I’m a completely, completely different person than I was a year ago. The first thought that ‘God, I hope I have wrinkles. I hope I see my 50’s and 60’s and 70’s.’ I now look at wrinkles as a badge of honor. And it’s just a completely different way of looking at life.”

Her oncologist has asked breast cancer survivors, “If I took away your cancer experience, would you go back?” According to Amy, “Not a single one of them would take you up on the idea. Because the people they became, the people they emerged were far superior to anything they would have been, if it hadn’t gone through this… I never knew how beautiful life was until I had cancer.”

Amy’s delivery was remarkable in its sincerity and brutal honesty resulting in a kindred spirit and a standing ovation. In the years ahead, the challenge will be to top Amy Robach.

There’s Just Nothing Like A Million Dollars

In this day and age when thin is in, don’t you just love an occasional round, plump something. Now, just think about it. The full moon? A glorious, pink peony in full bloom? A juicy, ripe plum?

Well, for the last couple of weeks the ultimate round, plump things have been hitting Dallas fundraisers full blast.

Lisa Longino, Maggie Kipp, Robin Robinson and Daffan Nettle

Lisa Longino, Maggie Kipp, Robin Robinson and Daffan Nettle

First, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s Celebrating Women scored a major coup the day before the October 24 lunch benefiting efforts to rid the world of breast cancer. The Baylor crew held their breath and their silence until the luncheon and then Foundation President Robin Robinson announced that the Spangenberg Family Foundation had gifted $1M for the battle. More about that in a later post.

Zoo To Do invitation*

Zoo To Do invitation*

Then word just arrived via Co-Chairs Tiffany Divis’ and Jennifer Houser’s carrier pigeon that the Zoo To Do scored $1M Saturday at the Dallas Zoo fundraiser. More about that in a later post.

Still another million plus was raised at the Dallas Holocaust Museum‘s annual “Hope for Humanity” on Thursday, October 30. This record-breaking year was honoring Stan Rabin.

If you don’t think $1M fits the round, plump description, rethink. A one followed by six zeroes seems pretty darn round and plump around here, especially when it’s benefiting North Texas charities.

Celebrating Women Luncheoners Be Forewarned: Big, Old Surprise Is In Your Future

Just back from the Celebrating Women patron party at Margaret and Barry Hancock’s incredible spot with a perfect view of the Dallas Country Club’s 17th hole.

There will be more deets in the days to come, but just wanted to warn you. Something is brewing. No, let’s be very honest. Something is scintillating!

Lisa Longino, Maggie Kipp, Robin Robinson and Daffan Nettle

Lisa Longino, Maggie Kipp, Robin Robinson and Daffan Nettle

Despite major efforts with bamboo shoots under Baylor Health Care System Foundation Robin Robinson‘s nails and threats that Queenie would roll their homes, Co-Chairs Lisa Longino and Daffan Nettle and Underwriter Chair Maggie Kipp‘s lips were lip sticked but sealed.

If you’re gonna be at the fundraiser to combat breast cancer, you’ll find out with the rest of the world. But insiders are swooning over the big deal this development is.

Hello, breast cancer, your days are so numbered. Let’s all wave  bye-bye with a smile and a breath of relief.