It boasts its the only one in the world and it's right here in New Orleans. The St. Charles Surgical Hospital opened its doors today -- dedicated to breast reconstruction for women with breast cancer. It's a 30 million dollar investment. Now, women from across the world will be coming here for breast reconstruction, something one local breast cancer survivor is celebrating.
Six years ago, Judy Pelitere's life changed with one phone call from her doctor. "I met with the radiologist and he said I had breast cancer." Today, though, she's a breast cancer survivor. She had a bilateral mastectomy and then reconstructive surgery. She only wishes a new medical center that opened today was around when she started her breast caner journey. "You should have a little comfort of home or luxury to make you feel a little special," she says.
The St. Charles Surgical Center is the only hospital in the world soley focusing on breast reconstruction for women with breast cancer. "It was conceived, designed and developed to heal the body, minds and spirits of women affected by breast cancer," says Dr. Frank Dellacroce. He and Dr. Scott Sullivan, who happens to be Judy's doctor, invested more than 30 million dollars in the venture helping revitalize the area.
"After that storm came through and ravaged the city of new orleans, the future of this block was in question," says Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu.
This state-of-the-art facility is also providing a boost to healthcare. "Each and every day it's a struggle to take care of the large patient load that we have in our city, but we're making progress," says City Councilmember Arnie Fielkow.
"It's a female issue and you figure, like you said, am I going to be whole again?" Now, Judy is relieved women who may undergo a similar cancer journey have a special place to feel normal again.
The hospital is at 1717 St. Charles Avenue. A lot of breast cancer awareness events this weekend. The 2nd Annual Marsha Mediamolle Memorial Golf Tournament is Friday, April 3, 2009 at Stonebridge Country Club. Proceeds benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Susan G. Komen Foundation.
And on Saturday, a Loyola student is putting on a benefit concert at the Howlin' Wolf for breast cancer awareness. Proceeds from that event will benefit Susan G. Komen and a national breast cancer fund.