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Boston Marathon bombing survivor to speak at women’s health event

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Rebekah Gregory

Rebekah Gregory, a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, will be the keynote speaker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound Women’s Health Fair on Saturday, February 4, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Permanently handicapped from the act of terrorism, Gregory now uses her past experience as a platform for encouraging others.

From having an abusive childhood and an illness that nearly took her life in high school, to being a single mom and an amputee, Gregory will discuss the many obstacles she has confronted and overcome in life.

Emphasizing the importance of preventive medicine, the event will offer free screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, body mass index, thyroid, and heart. Proactive approaches to health cannot be underestimated, as was proven at the 2016 Women’s Health Fair by Dr. Carolyn Garner, an endocrine surgery specialist who will offer thyroid screenings at the event.

“Thyroid cancer is the fastest-growing cancer in America. The free screenings with ultrasound I do at this event is one way of heightening awareness. Out of the hundreds of women I screened at the 2016 Women’s Health Fair, four individuals were identified as having thyroid cancer,” stated Dr. Garner, noting that some individuals did not have any symptoms. “Waiting in line for a few minutes for a quick screening could be live-saving.”

Jeanne McIntosh is living proof of Dr. Garner’s sentiment. As a first time health fair attendee in 2016, McIntosh was not expecting the news she received during her thyroid screening.

“Dr. Garner showed me a mass on the left side of my thyroid. She calmly explained what it could possibly be. Fortunately, my daughter was there with me when I heard the news. It shocked me. But, it ultimately saved me,” stated McIntosh, adding that she made an appointment with Dr. Garner the following Monday and decided to have surgery to remove the mass.

During the operation, Dr. Garner removed one half of McIntosh’s thyroid. A pathologist immediately confirmed that it was cancer, so Dr. Garner then removed the remaining portion during the same procedure. McIntosh then underwent a strict diet, various injections, and radioactive iodine treatment. Although she cannot be termed “cancer-free” for at least five years, her prognosis is promising.

“If I hadn’t gone to the health fair, I never would have known about the cancer. I had just had my numbers checked at my regular doctor and everything was normal. In hindsight, I may have had a couple of symptoms, but I had no idea any of it was related to having thyroid cancer,” stated McIntosh, now an avid supporter of health screenings of all types.

In addition to providing health screenings and information, the event will include complimentary chair massages and eyebrow threading, door prizes, physician consultation booths, and wellness booths with vendors such as General Mills, Fresh Point Produce, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dr Pepper, and Starbucks.

The event will kick-off with a physician panel to answer questions from the audience, moderated by Dr. Sean Fleming, an emergency medicine physician at Texas Health Flower Mound. The panel participants will include an oncologist, orthopedic surgeon, breast surgeon, urologist, cardiologist, family practitioner, OB/GYN, plastic surgeon, and a colon and rectal specialist.

Here is the schedule of events:

  • 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Breakfast, screenings, and wellness booths
  • 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Physician panel with Q&A
  • 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Door prize drawings (must be present to win)
  • 10 a.m. – Keynote speaker Rebekah Gregory with Q&A

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound is located at 4400 Long Prairie Road, Flower Mound, Texas 75028.

For more information, visit www.texashealthflowermound.com.

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