Honesdale, PA – Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Melissa Rickard is one of ten breast cancer survivors featured in this year’s Gallery of Hope. The annual display by Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is a collection of portraits and personal stories designed to promote the importance of screenings and early detection in surviving breast cancer. Rickard, 38, is a staff member at Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers’ Family Health Center in Honesdale.
“I’m thrilled, really,” said Rickard, who underwent a mastectomy and breast reconstruction after detecting a lump on her breast in 2009. As a healthcare provider, Rickard is, as the display notes, “in a unique position to help others and considers herself a champion of disease prevention.”
Rickard said she drew great support and inspiration to fight the disease from her husband and family, especially her grandmother who was also a breast cancer survivor.
She added that more women should learn to take care of themselves as they take care of others. “Stay in tune with your body,” said Rickard, “and maintain a relationship with your healthcare provider.”
The Gallery will be in the lobby at Wayne Memorial Hospital until June 1st. To read more survivor stories, visit www.bcnepa.com/hope.
Photo: Donna Decker, RN/Wayne Memorial Community Health; Rickard; Jennifer Deemer, Grant & Program Specialist, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.