PITTSBURG -- Getting a diagnosis of breast cancer left Rosanna Clark with a feeling of helplessness.
But soon after she got the devastating news, she was able to tap into resources that provided her with support that helped her cope.
"When I got breast cancer, I didn't know what to do. But once I started going through programs and things, that's when it was like a flower closing up and suddenly filling. I just got exposed to a wealth of help and resources."
Clark is a six-year breast cancer survivor and wants to help other people find ways to prevent or deal with the disease through a conference she helped organized called "Fighting in the Fight Against Breast Cancer." The free event takes place at Los Medanos College from 7:30 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Oct. 12 and is sponsored by the Los Medanos College Associated Students.
The inaugural conference will feature workshops with surgeons and other medical professionals who will talk about ways to prevent or reduce the risk of breast cancer. Those who have been newly diagnosed will be able to learn about treatment options and local support services that are available.
"Some people go through this alone and that's a tragedy," said Clark, an Antioch resident who is studying business administration at Los Medanos College and is treasurer for the Associated Students group. "They don't have to do this alone."
Another component of the event is to raise funds for two Rosanna D. Clark Breast Cancer Scholarships that will be awarded next year. One will be given to a Los Medanos College student undergoing treatment for breast cancer, while the other will go to a student who is a breast cancer survivor. Scholarship amounts are yet to be determined and fundraising is ongoing.
"Given what we have to endure going through cancer treatments, it can be very costly and uncomfortable," said Clark, adding that the scholarship will help with books and other college expenses.
To help raise funds for the scholarships, two donated sports memorabilia items will be auctioned off at the conference. The San Francisco 49ers have donated a commemorative and signed replica of the football used by the team to win the NFC championship in 2012 and the San Francisco Giants have given an autographed jersey used by outfielder Gregor Blanco.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.
IF YOU GO
What: Fighting in the Fight Against Breast Cancer
When: 7:30 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Oct. 12
Where: Room MU3 720, Los Medanos College, 2700 E. Leland Road, Pittsburg
Registration deadline: Oct. 6
Info or to register: http://www.lmcfightsbreastcancer.org/
Minimum GPA 3.0 or better
Enrolled in at least six units
In process of obtaining associate's degree from LMC
Strong commitment and service to the community
Preference given to African-American students
Application period runs from Oct. 28 through Feb. 28
For more information or to apply, go to the Fighting in the Fight Against Breast Cancer Scholarship link at http://www.losmedanos.edu/scholarships/list.asp