Purple Tea draws friends

Published 4:40 pm Thursday, November 11, 2010

Guests attending the eighth annual Purple Tea donned their best purple outfits and brought a friend and pretty tea cups to celebrate October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“The Purple Tea was implemented to promote awareness, support and survivorship to Breast Cancer,” said extension agent Carolyn Bivins. “All women are at risk of breast cancer; even those that have no family history of the disease. Women in the southwest region of Alabama continue to have a high risk of breast cancer at a younger age.”

The Purple Tea was hosted by the Escambia County Extension System and took place at the USDA Ag Science Center in Brewton. Approximately 26 people attended the tea on Thursday, Oct. 28.

Vonda Buckhault, the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Coordinator, presented a video stressing the need for every woman to perform breast self-examinations on a regular basis. She pointed out that there were 207,000 new cases of breast cancer in 2009 and about 40,000 deaths; however, 2.5 million women are Breast Cancer survivors. Early detection is essential to lower those numbers. She encouraged every woman to do a self- breast examination every month; a yearly mammogram and a clinical breast examination.

Phylis Redmon, nutritionist associate with the Escambia County Health Department, challenged everyone to “Take Charge of their Health” by eating more fruits, vegetables and grain foods and less high fat, high sodium and high sugar foods.  She also stressed the need to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily and to read the Nutrition Fact Label before buying packaged foods.

After a break to have a cup of tea, the group listened to Angela Watson Brazille, a breast cancer survivor as the keynote speaker. Ms Brazille told her own personal story of her discovery of the cancer and the steps she took to take care of her body.

“Her talk was awesome and an inspiration to all women,” Bivins said.

Gwen Walton, Phi Delta Kappa Sorority member, read an affirmation poem titled “Warning.“

“Moving moments occurred when guests were asked to share their experiences with cancer and light a candle in memory of love ones and friends that did not survive cancer,” Bivins said. “As a symbolic gesture for all those friends and love ones who died from Cancer messages were written on pink and white balloons and were released.”

Bivins said she wanted to extend a thank you to local businesses and friends who helped support the annual Purple Tea: Alabama Cooperative Extension System-Escambia County Office, Anonymous Friends, Comfort Care Hospice, Covenant Hospice, Phi Delta Kappa, Inc Sorority and Wal Mart.