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MISSION—Renee’s of Sharyland, located on 2600 E. Griffin Parkway, held its 9th Annual Power of Pink Breakfast. In observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, the event provided an inside look at cancer, its survivors and preventative measures women can practice.

Tomas Tijerina and Renee Martin, owners of Renee’s of Sharyland, welcomed the group of over 50 women dining at the event. Pink roses were left for each visitor at the breakfast tables along with bags full of pink instruction manuals for self examinations provided by local hospitals.

Invited to speak were breast cancer survivors, doctors and hospital representatives to share preventative steps and stories of strength.

Breast cancer survivor Suzan Aldairi Daghestani spoke of her battle with cancer and introduced her husband Dr. Ghanem Daghestani, a local oncologist at the Hope Cancer Clinic.

“In 2008, I got the diagnosis, it is very humbling to say the least,” Suzan Aldair Daghestani said.

“I chose to go to MD Anderson (Cancer Center), but I decided to get my treatment here in the Valley. It was the best thing that I had ever done because I was able to stay home and be with my kids.”

She said she fought for those closest to her, especially her children. She added she wanted them to have a future where there was no fear of a diagnosis as severe as cancer.

Daghenstani says she loves seeing support through the pink bracelets, ribbons, and scarves. She said usually anyone wearing pink has been affected in some way by breast cancer.

The pink theme did not stop at the presentations and decorations; it was also incorporated into the meal. Attendees dined on two tacos wrapped in a pink tortilla, a fruit cup mixed with pink yogurt and a rice crispy treat topped with pink frosting.

To close the breakfast, attendees heard from Olivier Van Der Graaff, who had lost his wife to breast cancer. He began to read aloud a letter written by his daughter, but couldn’t finish as the tears welled up. Tijerina finished reading the letter for him.

The letter spoke of the daughter’s time with her mother prior to her passing, how many moments were taken for granted and her emotions as a teenager limited her understanding of the severity of the situation.

“My wife used to get her breast examination done yearly,” Van Der Graaff said. “One year she said ‘No, I don’t need to take it again. I get it every year.’ By the time she checked herself it was at stage four.”

Van Der Graaff could not stress enough how it important it is to get tested annually, because breast cancer can arise at any moment.

Martin said the annual event has the same message every year; they encourage women to learn about preventative information and get annual mammograms.

The 9th Annual Power of Pink event was, again, a sell-out. The ticket price of $20 each is being donated to breast cancer support groups.

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