Guess who I ran into at BJ’s Wholesale Club in October?

Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012

Earlier this month, BJ’s Wholesale Club in Conshohocken, PA, hosted an annual event called “BJ’s Pink Picnic.” BJ’s invited Fox Chase Cancer Center survivors, family members, and friends as well as Club Members to attend to learn about and celebrate cancer research and survivorship.

As I walked in to BJ’s and headed towards the back of the store, I couldn’t miss the gigantic pink archway of balloons welcoming us.  The Picnic was taking place in their loading dock, which had been transformed into an event space thanks to “walls” made from bulk packages of paper towels and toilet paper! None of us, BJ’s employees included, had ever seen such a thing!

Each person attending was given a gift bag full of pink-branded products, and they had yummy snacks and drinks for everyone. Lisa Perfidio and I brought along lots of information about Fox Chase Cancer Center, plus our own giveaways (Love versus Cancer magnets were a big hit!)

Our host from BJ’s, Cindy, introduced the program and spoke of our new partnership. We got in touch with BJ’s well over a year ago and are happy to be a new partner in their BJ’s for Pink program along with 14 other NCI-designated cancer centers on the East Coast!

Cindy introduced the first guest speaker, Sonia Smith, a patient at Fox Chase for the past year and a half. Sonia told the story of her diagnosis and treatment, making a strong point to the audience to get a mammography starting at age 40 (depending on your family medical history) because her breast cancer had NO LUMP! Sonia made us laugh with her *ahem* vivid descriptions of what it was like to go through her treatment and surgery.

Surrounded by a wall of “pink” products, Dr. Paula Ryan shared the latest advances in breast cancer treatment and research.

Dr. Paula Ryan, a medical oncologist at our Women’s Cancer Center and one of Sonia’s doctors, told the audience about breast cancer research and treatment advances, emphasizing that things are always changing and we are always learning more about how to treat breast cancer. Both of our fabulous speakers answered questions from the very attentive audience, some of whom are cancer survivors themselves. Overall, it was a great event, and we are glad to be a new beneficiary of BJ’s The Power of Pink campaign.

During the entire month of October, if you buy any pink merchandise at BJ’s, a portion of the proceeds is going to go directly to Fox Chase Cancer Center! We need your help to make it a significant donation, so when you run out of tissues, chocolate syrup, diapers, paper towels, or Pringles, to name a few, make sure you pick up the pink ones at BJ’s!

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Cancer Conversations is the Fox Chase Cancer Center blog for news and analysis from staff and friends of the Center, reflecting current news in the field of oncology.

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