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Pink Ribbon Symposium marks five years

7:51 PM, Oct 6, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Pink balloons and pink banners littered the ballrooms on the second floor at Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Saturday for the Pink Ribbon Symposium. 

This was the fifth year of the symposium.

"I do it because I'm a 9-year survivor and its very special to me," Volunteer Coordinator Janet Eppich said. "If it weren't for my doctors, one of my doctors is the co-founder, I wouldn't be here today."

Olympic gold medalist ice skater Peggy Fleming was even in attendance Saturday.

"I feel very grateful that I survived and my message is early detection," Fleming said.

As a breast cancer survivor, she came to the symposium to help raise awareness.

Fleming was diagnosed 13 years ago on the 30th anniversary of her gold medal victory.

"Being an athlete taught me to have the right attitude when it came to fighting the disease like this," Fleming said. "It's a very devastating disease and it's hard to face it, but I think as an athlete you have to have that positive attitude."

Buddy Check 12 was also celebrating its 20th anniversary at the Pink Ribbon Symposium.

First Coast News' Jeannie Blaylock started the program in 1992 because of the need for specific details about self breast exams.

"I went to the producers and said we're not going to show models. We're not going to show little plastic things. We're going to show breasts because it's not nasty. It's not anything we should shy away from. We need to talk about it," Blaylock said.

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