First Lady presents Governor’s PATH award to senior breast cancer advocacy group during Senior Day at the State Fair

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The Governor’s PATH Award recognizes groups or individuals who, through their hard work and commitment, have improved the lives of those in their community and have helped Illinois move forward in the areas of health care, public safety, education and economic development.

The Troupe dances to inspirational gospel music to uplift those, and their family members, who have or are experiencing physical or mental adversities. To encourage annual check-ups and healthy living, they have:

— coordinated senior health fairs to encourage annual mammograms and exams;

— regularly performed at senior living complexes;

— helped coordinate the “Pink Potluck Campaign” to raise awareness of breast cancer and to s pread the word about the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, which offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings as well as low-cost treatment to all uninsured women.

“We are grateful that God has continued to allow our dance troupe to spread the message of personal health and exercise.  Our theme song is „I’m encouraged.”  But we are not just encouraged, we encourage many others.  We believe God’s blessings have certainly been manifested throughout our group, which includes breast cancer survivors, stroke survivors and arthritis patients,” said Annette Farris, Super Senior Praise Dance Troupe President. 

The group includes three breast cancer survivors.  The eldest member of the group, at age 87, is a seven year breast cancer survivor; another member, at age 81, is a six year breast cancer survivor and seven year stroke survivor; and one of the younger members is also a breast cancer survivor.”

“These women are living testimonies that taking care of your health can improve the quality of life and your chances of survival from chronic and deadly diseases,” said breast cancer survivor Louanner Peters, Deputy Governor.

The Super Seniors Praise Dance Troupe was formed out of the partnership between the Illinois Department of Public Health Center for Minority Health Services, Greater All Nations Tabernacle Church of God in Christ and the University of Illinois at Springfield Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and their sponsorship for breast and cervical cancer awareness events.