It can be difficult to differentiate oneself from the group, especially when the group consists of more than 100 hospitals all dancing for charity. Of course, when it comes to spreading awareness about breast cancer, it’s more about getting a message out and less about standing out.
That didn’t stop the Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic from putting together their own original video for the Pink Glove Dance charity event by Medline – a video that certainly differentiates itself from the group.
“I saw it on the internet last year and showed the whole staff,” said Madelia Radiology Director Melissa Hunt . “Everyone was really inspired by it so we decided we would make our own video this year.”
The video begins with a shot of the hospital and slowly pans toward a sign which reads: “You are not alone!” Along with the images on screen, Katy Perry’s song “Part of Me” lyricizes the experience.
Perry’s song probably wasn’t written specifically for breast cancer victims, but the lyrics can be applied conceptually to fit the October breast cancer awareness theme and work well to capture the helpless feeling women who are diagnosed with breast cancer may be experiencing.
“Coming from our department, we see the diagnosis from the patients side, and how it effects them,” said Hunt. “When you watch the video you really feel that this isn’t just an October thing we do every year, this is something that effects real lives and is truly a journey that support is needed to get through.”
The video centers around the experiences of breast cancer survivor Marnie Kortuem, an active member of the Madelia community. Her journey begins alone in a doctor’s examining room and ends in downtown Madelia as she is embraced by fellow cancer survivors and the community as a whole.
“Asking her to relive the doctor telling her she has breast cancer had to have been really difficult for her, but she was very strong about it,” said Hunt. “Her ultimate goal was letting people know that the screening for cancer is very important and you have to catch it early if you can, rather than waiting until it's too late.”
Throughout October events are planned and organizations wear pink to spread awareness for breast cancer, but the Madelia video works in a different way, by showing the face of a survivor.
“We just felt it was more important to tell the story from the survivor's standpoint and the community of support around them throughout their journey, rather than just dancing with pink gloves on,” said Hunt.
Page 2 of 2 - Pink is more than just a color during the month of October. It is a woman struggling through chemotherapy or the feeling of helplessness after a diagnosis. It is a calling for the community to help and support each other.
“Every single person is effected by it and every single person can help,” said Jackie Bergemann marketing coordinator at the Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic.
Rather than systematically moving patients through screening one after the other, the small Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic has made real efforts to make patients feel comfortable during the screening process – a practice that is slowly fading at larger facilities.
“Madelia has really tried to increase the comfort of these mammograms, The Auxillary has donated all of these MammoPads which basically go on the machine to give them a little more comfort,” said Bergemann.
“Anything you can do above and beyond to get someone in is totally worth it,” adds Hunt. “If it takes a massage, by all means we are willing to do that, because for some women it's not their favorite thing to experience and we understand that it's not a comfortable thing to do. We just want to make things as easy as possible for women so they can get screened and follow any preventative measures.”
The small town of just over 2,300 might not be able to compete with the larger hospitals that entered the competition this fall, especially considering last year’s winner received over 61,000 votes, but when it comes to breast cancer it isn’t all about winning or losing, it’s about supporting those who need it.
As Hunt said: “We can't walk in their shoes but we can help them on their walk.”