By Regina Adams, NAVFAC Washington Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Washington held its 5th annual "Think Pink" event in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month at the Washington Navy Yard Oct. 17.
Capt. Antonio Edmonds, NAVFAC Washington commanding officer, thanked more than 100 employees for attending the event held at the Washington Navy Yard in Building 212.
"Breast cancer is a big deal, in a very bad way. Each day, over a hundred American women lose their lives to breast cancer," said Edmonds. "We are gathering today to remember the losses, celebrate our survivors, and raise awareness for everyone."
Capt. Craig Prather, NAVFAC Washington executive officer, recognized the breast cancer survivors who were in attendance. The three breast cancer survivors in attendance were Crystal Brower-Petty, a program analyst and five-year survivor; Angela Tharps, a management analyst and nine-year survivor, and Carolyn Woods, a natural resource specialist. Woods will be a seven-year breast cancer survivor Nov. 13. The survivors shared their breast cancer journey echoed the same messages: early detection lowers the risk of breast cancer death and don't be in denial.
"I was in denial," said Tharps. "I didn't tell anyone. Please don't be like me. Talk to someone, the earlier the better."
After the breast cancer survivors shared their experience, Prather led an emotional moment of silence, broken only by the names of participant's loved ones who have struggled with the disease.
After the reflections from many of the employees, breast cancer survivors lead participants on a 20 minute walk around the Washington Navy Yard.
Participants received bottled water and breast cancer awareness pamphlets and booklets when they completed the walk at Admiral Willard Park.
"I am happy to see so many people at this year's event," said Brower-Petty. "I am overjoyed by the support from my co-workers."
According to the National Breast Cancer website, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. Men are also affected-approximately 2,190 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, resulting in more than 400 lives lost.