Ten women who are currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer or are breast cancer survivors were honored Tuesday night during the Falcons' annual Dazzle and Dine event. Here are photos from their big day.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, in efforts to help raise awareness, the Atlanta Falcons have dedicated a full week of events to this cause.
On Tuesday, the Falcons held the seventh annual Dazzle and Dine event to honor 10 fierce breast cancer survivors. Dazzle and Dine honors women currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer as well as breast cancer survivors for their continued effort in fighting against breast cancer. Honorees are chosen based upon their community involvement and dedication to helping this cause.
Vicki Atkinson, Sheryl Cherico, Beth Heyer, Stephnesanie Jones, Janice McKenzie-Crayton, Dorothy McMichael, Carmen Neil, Kim Shoemaker, Dionne Simmons and Jessica Teal enjoyed a nice afternoon of pampering at Jamison Shaw Hairdressers.
Candy Shaw Codner, owner of Jamison Shaw Hairdressers, has hosted this event at her salon a number of times. Codner's staff treated these women to everything they could possibly want, from hair highlights to makeovers.
"Being in the business of beauty, there is nothing more rewarding than to give a woman great hair after she has lost it," Codner said. "I feel that there is nothing a stylist can do with their hands that is more giving than to help a woman who has dealt with adversity in her life. To just give of yourself and your talents and your gifts, it's a remarkable feeling. There is no amount of money that makes this event even more special than these women that come in with their true hearts and just let you go."
It's easy to feel like your world is crashing down when initially diagnosed with breast cancer. For most women, they feel as if a part of their femininity will be gone forever.
Stephanie Jones, who was first diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in September 2003 and was recently re-diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer, explained that optimism is essential when fighting breast cancer.
"Have a positive attitude, have some humor in your life and give yourself a break, it's not a death sentence," Jones said.
Another honoree, 27-year-old Jessica Teal, was limited in what she was able to do in her recovery, last October. During the month of October, she started custom making pumpkins. She created pumpkins to represent breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lymphocytic leukemia. Teal raised over $20,000 with these pumpkins and donated the proceeds to a charity.
The overwhelming appreciation these ladies expressed knowing their stories impact others, exuded out of the salon.
"Some days I have pain, some days are better than others, emotionally," Jones said. "Some days I am in acceptance and some days I don't want to talk about it. But, for the most part I am really grateful that I am going through this test, so I can be testimony for other people."
After these courageous ladies finished getting dolled up at the salon, they posed for pictures in front of a fancy limousine, where they were then chauffeured to the final destination, Katana Teppanyaki & Sushi.
Upon arrival, the women received a 'pink carpet' entrance, where they were cheered on and greeted by their family, friends, Falcons players and staff members.
In attendance for the event were the following Falcons: Matt Bryant, Adrian Clayborn, Malliciah Goodman, Collin Mooney, Josh Harris, Leonard Hankerson, Patrick DiMarco, Matt Bosher and Ryan Schraeder.
"Dazzle and Dine is always a great night. I always look forward to spending time with these ladies," said Falcons punter Matt Bosher, whose mom is a 23-year survivor. "They are such strong fighters. It's nice to know that we can help these women who have been through such a tough time and have a great night."
At dinner, the 10 players were each stationed at different cooking stations, where they served as hibachi chefs. The women and their guests were served a six-course meal followed by an honorary presentation.
The ladies took the podium with smiles that warmed the room and received gifts that included: Falcons BCA apparel, gift cards to Belk, a picture fame and silver key chains from Northside Hospital.
According to the American Cancer Society, twelve percent of women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. 27-year-old, Jessica Teal, encourages women to frequently ask questions.
"Ask questions," Teal said. "It's your body, it's your life."