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Rays of Hope Walk Kicks Off on Sunday

SPRINGFIELD, Ma (WGGB) —  In an effort to continue the fight on breast cancer, thousands of people will gather and take part in the 19th annual Rays of Hope Walk happening this Sunday.

The event starts at Temple Beth El at 979 Dickinson St. in Springfield and registration begins at 9 a.m. followed by Run at 10:15 a.m. and Walk at 10:30 a.m.

Everyone is welcome, even if you haven’t already signed up. The 5 mile Walk and Run is around Forest Park in Springfield or you can take the optional 2-mile Walk in Forest Park.

All proceeds raised through Rays of Hope stay right here in our communities.

For more information visit the Baystate Health Foundation website.

The money raised from the annual Rays of Hope Walk has long been used to support Baystate Medical’s Comprehensive Breast Center.  Their specialists and surgeons work together to bring you the latest diagnosis and treatment options for breast disease.  Dr. Pranay Parikh is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Baystate Medical Center. He tells ABC40, “One of the main advantages of a place like Baystate is a comprehensive breast center where we get to integrate specialties; the care of cancer and the reconstruction of the cancer defect are not two separate problems. They are very much aligned, particularly for breast cancer. Now breast reconstruction is not an afterthought, it’s an integral part of the planning process. “

Dr. Holly Mason is the Director of Breast Surgical Services. At one time, she says, a breast cancer diagnosis meant the complete removal of the breast.  She adds, “And certainly mastectomy, which used to be the obligatory standard, has many different ways in that we can approach mastectomy and we can approach reconstruction. And one of my primary jobs and the job of any breast surgeon is to make sure our patient is aware of the options because that can certainly influence their surgical choice.”

And breast surgeon, Dr. Susan Cash says the recovery is just as important as the breast cancer surgery itself. She continues, “Unlike other surgeries where everything we take care of and remove is internal, with breast surgery, everything is visible. So I think a big part of a woman’s recovery is how they look and how they feel after their surgery. And we really try, as a team approach, from the breast surgeon to the plastic surgeon to make that transition from treatment to recovery and onto survivorship the best and smoothest possible for the patient.”

That’s just part of the work being done every day at Baystate Medical’s Comprehensive Breast Center. Work supported by the money you help raise by taking part in the Rays of Hope Walk and Run Toward the Cure.