On April 29, members of the Taunia Oechslin Girls Night Out (TOGNO) Foundation delivered a donation of $150,000, the largest in the event’s history, to the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center (JMBCC) in support of patient care services. Each year, the Foundation holds an annual fundraising event that brings together breast cancer survivors, family, friends, and supporters. The 13th annual event was held on April 16 at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center in Johnstown.
This year, TOGNO committee lead and cancer survivor Maureen Kimlin introduced a specially produced film featuring the treatment stories of six patients of the JMBCC. Additionally, Breast Surgeon and JMBCC Medical Director Dr. Trudi Brown and Breast Surgeon Dr. Deborah Sims stressed the importance of breast self-exams and early detection. Kimberly Knapp, JMBCC Genetic Research Nurse, discussed the importance of genetic testing for individuals who have had any kind of cancer or have a higher risk of cancer because of family history. The video can be viewed by clicking here.
“It was an incredible year. The committee, community members, and supporters reached and exceeded their goal to raise $150,000 for the year, hitting the staggering $1 million mark of total dollars raised for the JMBCC. We are grateful for the support and generosity year after year, which continues to increase breast cancer awareness and funds for patient services,” said JMBCC Director Erin Goins.
JMBCC’s partnership with TOGNO has provided financial assistance to patients for breast imaging examinations; breast biopsies and surgeries; genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndromes; and education about the importance of breast cancer screenings. Contributions also support equipment and technology needed to screen, detect and diagnose breast cancer, ensuring access to the most up-to-date technology for community members.
According to Meghan Stahl-Skinner, TOGNO chairperson, “Taunia Oechslin started this event 13 years ago as a ‘pay it forward’ project for the caring and personal attention she received at the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since Taunia’s passing in 2009, the Taunia Oechslin Girls Night Out committee has been dedicated to paying it forward in her honor. We’ve become the largest dinner event in Johnstown with over 800 women in attendance. This year we celebrated our 13th annual event and are proud to present the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center a check for $150,000 – an amount that enabled us to reach the $1 million mark!”
TOGNO began in 2006 as a small “pay it forward” project by Taunia Oechslin, a breast cancer fighter who was diagnosed at 36 years old and succumbed to the disease on April 9, 2009 at the age of 39. It was her goal that every woman is educated about breast cancer, understands the value of early detection and receives proper treatment. To date, TOGNO has raised over $1 million for the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center to ensure “cutting edge” care in a state-of-the-art facility for every uninsured and underinsured woman in our community.
Thank you for your dedication and commitment every year!
About Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center
The Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center (JMBCC) opened in February 2002 offering comprehensive and personalized breast care in one convenient location. The JMBCC is exists to prevent and treat diseases of the breast and other conditions that can impact the lives of the women served. The tools and techniques used include digital mammography, ultrasound, breast biopsies, breast MRI, bone densitometry, genetic counseling, research studies, and a female breast surgeon on-site.
About Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber
Founded in 1906, Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber (CSSMCW) is an independent, non-profit acute care hospital in northern Somerset County, bordering Cambria County. The 54-bed hospital shares a campus and collaborates with Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber (CSSIMMW), a private, non-profit biomedical research center. With more than 450 employees, CSSMCW is the fourth largest employer in Somerset County. CSSMCW’s mission is to provide excellence in personalized, quality health care services through innovation, research and education in response to community needs. For more information visit www.windbercare.org.