Shine a Light: In the Pink

Most of us will remain faithful to black and gold, but pink takes center stage in October. It’s the color of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that campaign is celebrating 25 years of awareness. There’ll be pink ribbons and pink T-shirts, and many Web sites and blogs will show their support for breast cancer awareness by turning their sites pink. 

Locally, Megan Morphy, a registered nurse, is making the lives of New Orleans women better through her compassionate caring and her outreach efforts for breast cancer awareness.

She assists with several breast cancer support groups and Look Good Feel Better workshops. Her community outreach effort successfully spreads the word about prevention, breast health and breast cancer at health fairs, women’s groups and churches.

Almost four years ago, after raising her children, she joined the Lieselotte Tansey Breast Center at Ochsner Medical Center. On average she works with 15 patients a day.

“We do the full circle here,” she says. “We do exams on women who do not have cancer, we work with women who have just discovered they have breast cancer, and we work with women through their surgeries and recoveries –– the whole journey.”

The moments she cherishes during her day-to-day routine are the final fittings of a woman’s prosthesis.

“I never wake up and say, ‘I don’t want to go to work,’” she says. “I love what I do. When a woman is finally back in balance, when she feels normal, it is a very emotional time, but it’s a good emotion. At first after the surgery, the women seem to hunch over. They are protective. But once the prosthesis is properly fitted, you can see them straighten up. It’s the world to them.”

Megan also organizes the Ochsner team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which will be held on Oct. 23 at City Park.

Breast cancer affects one out of 8 women. The American Cancer Society estimates in 2010 about 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed.

“Sometimes friends ask me, ‘Isn’t hard telling a woman the results came back and she has breast cancer?’ and I say, ‘Someone has to do it,’” she says. “And I know we will get her on a path that will get her through it. With the advancements we’ve made and early detection, this is no longer a death sentence. She’ll get through it, and I love that my job is helping her on that journey.”

Shine a Light with Pamela Marquis illuminates the stories of those people who need a little recognition for the many ways they make New Orleans the best place in the world to live.

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