By Sue Pascoe of Circling the News
“Think Pink for Women’s Wellness” is an Irene Dunne Guild annual event, that focuses on health education and awareness for women and their families. This year’s event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, at the Upper Bel Air Bay Club.
The event features break-through lectures with notable physicians and speakers. Over the years, topics have included healthy brain aging, addiction, urology, dermatology and breast health. The event culminates with a luncheon held in the dining room of the Upper Bel Air Bay Club overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Boutique shopping is available throughout the event with net proceeds benefitting programs, equipment and services at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.
Co-chairs Lorena Craven and Susie DeWeese said this year’s featured speaker is Dr. Meena Said, an endocrine surgeon, who will speak on “Wellness Worldwide: Treating Children with Cancer 8,000 Miles Away.”
Said’s family fled Afghanistan as refugees when she was a baby and lived in Germany for 18 months before moving to the U.S.
The doctor graduated summa cum laude from UCLA and then attended the UCLA School of Medicine, receiving the highest honor bestowed upon a medical student, The Deans Merit Scholarship. After graduating in 2006, Said completed an internal medicine internship at UCLA before pursuing her general surgery residency at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. She completed an Endocrine Surgery Fellowship at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Said has founded a humanitarian nonprofit called Wellness Worldwide to provide healthcare as well as educational and social support to vulnerable populations, first in Afghanistan, but then, she envisions, in the neediest communities around the world. In a 2021 interview “She Saved My Life. And so Many Others,” the doctor said, “Every human life has equal value. Every man, woman and child deserve a chance to live — irrespective of gender, religion, political beliefs, ethnicity or race.”
Through Wellness Worldwide, she and a network of volunteer doctors deliver medical care and run a family clinic in a refugee camp in Nangarhar. “As a surgeon who operates on cancer patients, I know how desperate and vulnerable cancer patients can be,” she said. “In Afghanistan, there are no cancer facilities for adults or for children. There’s not a single radiation facility in the entire country.” A statistic Said quotes is that 75 percent of the world’s operations are performed on 25 percent of the world’s population.
In America, survival for all cancer children is 80 percent. In the low- and middle-income countries — Afghanistan is one of the five poorest countries on earth — that statistic is flipped: a 20 percent survival rate for children with all cancers.
The Irene Dunne Guild is celebrating its thirty-sixth year as a major support group of Saint John’s Health Center Foundation in Santa Monica. The guild has more than 100 members committed to finding innovative ways to fundraise, comfort patients, educate the community and nurture the mission of providing compassionate care click here.
The public is invited to attend this event. Tickets are $175 per person. For more information, call (310) 829-8424. Co-chairs Craven and DeWeese said, “We would be thrilled to welcome you to Think Pink 2023.”
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