Station Info

'Faces of Inspiration'

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ABC7's Roz Varon, a four-year breast cancer survivor, shares the stories of both survivors and those inspired by breast cancer survivors as they help others grappling with this difficult diagnosis.

FACES OF INSPIRATION airs Wednesday, October 27th at 10:35 PM and will be made available on-demand on ABC7Chicago.com

This half-hour special profiles the many faces of people who have been touched by breast cancer in some way. Roz introduces a Villa Park, Illinois native who confronted breast cancer 8 years ago. Now, after a career change, survivor Tracey Stills helps countless other women cope with the same diagnosis at the very same center where she was treated.

One of the most startling and grim statistics about breast cancer is among Illinois' African American population. African American women have the highest death rate from breast cancer, higher than any other race or ethnicity. This half-hour special turns the spotlight on a national group that arrived here in Chicago a decade ago trying to improve those odds. Sisters Network Chicago, an organization that has to grown from 6-7 pioneering members to 50, not only raises awareness but offers African American women a sense of hope.

Next, viewers will meet police officers in Northwest Indiana, who are doing everything from adorning their squad cars with pink ribbons to staging fashion shows and other fundraisers to rally behind their co-worker who is battling breast cancer. These officers have already raised tens of thousands of dollars in a show of solidarity and support for Officer Flora Ryan.

And there are many others. Dr. Robert Maganini has made a career of helping women diagnosed with breast cancer, as a surgeon at the Cancer Institute at Alexian Brothers Hospital Network, at St. Alexius Medical Center. This past summer he raised an extraordinary $50,000 in a 1,000 mile bike ride to Pikes Peak in Colorado.

Patti Vasquez, a regular at the Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago, was inspired by her great aunt who had breast cancer. Patti has become an outspoken advocate for breast cancer research and weaves a clever routine on the topic into every one her performances.

A group of legendary Windy City musicians auctioned off a chance to perform with them on their current tour. Through this unique fundraiser, "Chicago" raised about $100,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Holly Grisham and Roz Varon are the producers of FACES OF INSPIRATION.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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