UALR Trojans ‘Pink Night’ Honors UAMS Breast Cancer Survivors, Doctor

| Feb. 23, 2018 | UAMS breast cancer survivors were celebrated Feb. 22 as they joined the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) men’s and women’s basketball teams  at their annual Pink Night.

UAMS breast cancer survivors join the UALR men's basketball team on the court for the national anthem.

UAMS breast cancer survivors join the UALR men’s basketball team on the court for the national anthem.

Seven breast cancer survivors treated at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, along with hematologist oncologist Issam Makhoul, M.D., were introduced to the crowd and joined the Little Rock Trojans on the court for the national anthem prior to both games against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

Kathy Hall, a graduate of both UALR and the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, was happy to be part of the event.

“Attending two UALR basketball games and showing off what survivorship looks like was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” she said.

Hall was first diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2007 and again in March 2009. Although the cancer has spread throughout her body, she is thankful for the care she continues to receive at UAMS.

The UALR women's basketball team welcomed UAMS breast cancer survivors onto the court prior to their Pink Night game against Coast Carolina.

The UALR women’s basketball team welcomed UAMS breast cancer survivors onto the court prior to their Pink Night game against Coast Carolina.

“Dr. Makhoul is the reason I’m still here today. I am so grateful to him,” Hall said.

Donning a pink necktie in honor of his patients, Makhoul shared hugs and words of encouragement with each of his patients before the games started.

“These women are the embodiment of courage and the love of life. They have been through so much, but they have never lost their poise or spirit,” said Makhoul, professor and director of the Division of Medical Oncology in the UAMS College of Medicine.

Three-year survivor Karen Thomas came to UAMS for a second opinion after being diagnosed with breast cancer at another hospital.

“My team of doctors at UAMS was amazing and completely focused on what I needed. It was night and day from what I previously experienced,” she said.

Each of the women were accompanied at  the game by a family member or friend who offered them support during their diagnosis and treatment.

“It’s important to remember that each survivor had a husband, a parent or a friend who helped her all along. Nobody can go through this journey alone,” said Makhoul.

Additional survivors recognized at the games were Katherine Creasey, Agalia Baker, Michelle Nabholz, Suzanne Gatewood and Cindy Lewis.