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October 30, 2016 Kim Maialetti
  Wendy Marano


Cooper Foundation’s Seventh Annual Pink Roses Teal Magnolias Brunch Raises $750,000 for Breast, Gynecologic Cancer Research, Care at MD Anderson Cooper

CAMDEN, N.J.  Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation, announced today that the Seventh Annual Pink Roses Teal Magnolias Brunch raised $750,000 for breast and gynecologic cancer research and clinical programs at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.

“At MD Anderson Cooper, we have excellent doctors and medical staff providing the most advanced cancer care right here in South Jersey,” said Levin. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Pink Roses Teal Magnolias is the largest fundraising event for breast and gynecologic cancer in the region, and every dollar we raise helps patients and their families in our local community.”

More than 900 women attended this year’s brunch held at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, N.J. The event honored Drs. A. Leilani Fahey, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon; Sun Yong (Sunny) Lee, Breast Cancer Surgeon, and Robin Wilson-Smith, Gynecologic Oncologist, and Lead Surgical Advanced Practice Nurse Helen Nichter, with the Pink and Teal Hero Award for their outstanding contributions to cancer care and treatment. (Bios of the honorees are included below.)

“There are more than 2.8 million breast and gynecologic cancer survivors in the United States today, but we still have work to do,” said Generosa Grana, MD, Executive Director of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. “The support MD Anderson Cooper receives through The Cooper Foundation and Pink Roses Teal Magnolias is critical to funding research, enhancing care and finding a cure.”

This year’s fundraising event included a Survivors Parade to recognize all cancer survivors in attendance, a health fair, raffles, a silent auction and a live quilt auction. The event also featured inspiring stories from four cancer survivors Kevin Becica, Cherry Hill; Maria Henley, Vineland; Fran Lunsford, Haddonfield, and Jeanne Smith, Medford.

Since the first brunch in 2010, fundraising for Pink Roses Teal Magnolias has totaled $3.75 million. Funds have been used to support research; new technology; the Patient In Need Fund; the Survivorship Program, and the Dr. Diane Barton Complementary Medicine program, including the Tea Cart, in which employees volunteer to serve snacks to patients and their families during chemotherapy.

“Community support for MD Anderson Cooper has been tremendous,” said George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of Cooper University Health Care. “Cancer touches each and every one of us, and as MD Anderson Cooper continues to grow and expand, we further our commitment to fighting the disease and ensuring patients and their families have access to comprehensive cancer care close to home.”

The brunch was co-chaired by community members Donna Forman, Cherry Hill; Janet Knowles, Moorestown; Josephine McGinness, Mount Laurel; Carolyn Shelby, Westampton and Mary Ann Todd, Marlton, along with MD Anderson Cooper leaders Generosa Grana, MD, Kristin Brill MD, Francis Spitz, MD, David Warshal, MD and Senior Vice President Christine Winn.

Pink & Teal Hero Award Recipients

A. Leilani Fahey, MD, FACS, Philadelphia Fahey specializes in breast reconstruction at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, and credits her father, an oncologist, with inspiring her to pursue a career in medicine. Fahey specializes in plastic surgery and breast reconstruction because of the technical challenges as well as the opportunity to help restore a woman’s body image after a mastectomy. She chose to practice at Cooper because of the chance to help all women, but especially those who are underserved. Fahey earned her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, interned at North Shore University Hospital, where she also completed a residency in general surgery, completed her plastic surgery residency at Cooper and plastic surgery fellowships at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, and Charlotte Plastic Surgery Center, P.A. When not working, Fahey enjoys tending to her garden.

Sun Yong (Sunny) Lee, MD, FACS, Philadelphia Lee has served as the Associate Director of the Janet Knowles Breast Cancer Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. A dedicated surgeon, Lee is committed to educating her patients about their diagnosis and what they can expect during and after treatment. Her own personal experience with cancer has allowed Lee to bring a deeper understanding of the challenges her patients face and help them cope. Lee attended medical school at Cornell University Medical College, completed her surgery internship and residency at Pennsylvania Hospital, her fellowship in breast surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and a fellowship in trauma/critical care at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Lee’s son will graduate from Harvard University next year and is contemplating a career in medicine. Lee has many other talents – she knits, quilts and plays the piano.

Helen Nichter, RN, MSN, APN, Cherry Hill Nichter is Lead Surgical Advanced Practice Nurse at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. A breast cancer survivor herself, Nichter understands the uncertainty patients feel when battling the disease and shares her own story of survival to help ease their fears. Nichter was born at Cooper, and as a teen in 1979 was a finalist in the Miss Cooper Hospital contest. Nicknamed Lucky because of her birth date – 7/11 – Nichter is a bit of thrill seeker. She went bungee jumping in her 20s and hopes to one day learn how to drive a racecar in the Poconos. Nichter’s pride and joy is her 16-year-old daughter, who was just 2 years old when Nichter was diagnosed with cancer. Nichter earned her nursing degree from Marymount University, her master’s from Widener University and her advanced training from Felician University. Nichter was a 2014 Cooper Nursing Excellence Award winner, receiving the Advanced Practice Nursing Excellence award.

Robin Wilson-Smith, DO, Mullica Hill Wilson-Smith is a gynecologic oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. While Smith knew at a young age she wanted to practice medicine, it was only after her residency at Cooper that she decided to specialize in gynecologic oncology. A mother of four children, Smith enjoys camping – or “glamping” – with her family and is associated with the Buffalo Soldiers, a community-oriented motorcycle club. The Buffalo Soldiers have helped raise funds for Pink Roses Teal Magnolias through their annual Divas For a Cure Breast Cancer Ride. Smith earned her medical degree from UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine, where she also completed her internship. She completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Albert Einstein Medical Center and Cooper, where she also completed her fellowship in gynecologic oncology. Smith is inspired by the connections she makes with women and treats every patient as if she were her mother or sister.

About The Cooper Foundation/Cooper University Health Care
The Cooper Foundation serves as the philanthropic, community outreach and community development arm of Cooper University Health Care, one of the largest health systems in southern New Jersey with over 100 outpatient offices and its flagship, Cooper University Hospital located in Camden, N.J. Cooper University Hospital is the premier university hospital serving South Jersey and the Delaware Valley. Cooper has reaffirmed its role as a leader in medical education and research with the opening of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in 2012, the first four-year allopathic medical school in South Jersey. Cooper is renowned for signature programs in cardiology, cancer, critical care, pediatrics, trauma, orthopaedics and neurosciences. Cooper is also home to the only state designated Children’s Hospital in South Jersey—the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper. Over the last decade, Cooper has transformed its Camden City neighborhood into the Cooper Health Sciences Campus. In October 2013, the new MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, a freestanding cancer center for comprehensive care, opened on the Health Sciences Campus.

About MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper
In September 2013, Cooper University Health Care and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, partnered to create MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. Since U.S. News & World Report began its annual “Best Hospitals” survey in 1990, MD Anderson has consistently been named one of the top two cancer hospitals in the nation, receiving the top position nine times in the last 10 years. This partnership is a full clinical integration of the MD Anderson program at Cooper with the program in Houston. MD Anderson Cooper physicians adhere to the same philosophy, processes and guidelines set by MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, and patients receive the same proven practice standards and treatment plans provided at MD Anderson. Today at MD Anderson Cooper, patients have access to more clinical trials for more types of cancer than ever before, as well as a full range of supportive care services. Advanced, comprehensive cancer services are provided at our Camden, Voorhees and Willingboro locations. The Cooper Digestive Health Institute is an accredited MD Anderson Cooper location for innovative gastrointestinal cancer prevention, detection and treatment services. Additional cancer clinical services are provided at locations throughout South Jersey.