Broadcasting icon Angela Hill has spent decades masterfully telling other people’s stories, as a legendary WWL-TV anchor and reporter and later WWL Radio talk show host. On Monday, she shared a story of her own, a very personal one that she hopes will help others.
Hill revealed that she is now a breast cancer survivor. She spoke at an event organized by the local Susan G. Komen chapter promoting a slate of events in October marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“I was diagnosed this summer, I had a double mastectomy,” Hill said Monday. “I remember thinking how many women I know who have been through this. Almost an epidemic. But I know in my heart that of all the choices I made, the most important one was I was going to live. And I am going to live.”
She said the location of Monday’s kickoff event, in the courtyard at Brennan’s Restaurant on Royal Street, was symbolic for her since she recalled meeting Susan G. Komen’s sister there decades ago. The meeting came as local organizers were preparing to start a local affiliate of the foundation for which she is now known around the world. At the time, Hill was a guest of local cancer survivor and activist Pat Denechaud, who had brought Komen’s sister, Nancy Brinker, to town to help launch the effort. Brinker founded the foundation after promising her sister Susan that she would end the disease that claimed her life in 1980.
“The money that’s been raised for the research that’s been done in the last 25 years is unbelievable and the quality of care we have right here in this city is remarkable,” Hill said Monday.
Among the events in October being organized by Susan G. Komen New Orleans is the Oct. 21 Race for the Cure at City Park. The event will begin with entertainment at 7 a.m., then honor survivors with an opening ceremony at 8 a.m. A kids’ dash, one-mile fun run/walk, 5K competitive run and 5K fun run/walk will follow. Competitors will be part of fundraising teams being organized now in honor of survivors and loved ones who lost their battle with breast cancer.
Organizers are also promoting the NOLA Goes Pink restaurant campaign. During the month of October, nearly 20 local restaurants will designate special dishes or drinks on their menu as part of the fundraiser and donate a portion of the proceeds to Susan G. Komen New Orleans. Organizers say the campaign was the first monthlong, citywide, chef-driven promotion in support of breast cancer research and awareness in the United States when it began in 2011.
Funds raised from the October events will benefit local awareness, screening and research.
In all, Susan G. Komen New Orleans has invested over $6 million in community breast health programs throughout the metro area and has helped contribute to the more than $920 million invested globally in research.
WWL-TV is a media sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.