NOTRE DAME, IN - University of Notre Dame alumna Anne Thompson, NBC news correspondent and breast cancer survivor, will be the featured speaker at the Pink Zone luncheon on Feb. 12 (Saturday) at 11 a.m. EST at the Purcell Pavilion at Notre Dame.
The luncheon will precede the annual Notre Dame women’s basketball Pink Zone game at 2 p.m. that day and is organized by the College of Science to recognize researchers and physicians in the fight against cancer.
Thompson, who is NBC News’ chief environmental affairs correspondent, began her broadcasting career at WNDU-TV in South Bend in 1979. In 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She says her work at NBC was “part of the cure. It gave me purpose. It made me feel normal. 30 Rock became my cancer-free zone.”
Thompson said: “Cancer isn’t about dying, it is about living. You can live with cancer—millions do. Quiet battles that never make headlines, but are remarkable nonetheless. It is a battle you cannot fight alone. I attacked my cancer like it was a story—learning everything I could, finding the best experts, and most importantly finding options.”
Raised and educated in Europe, Thompson received her high school diploma from the International School of Brussels in Belgium. She graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor of arts in American studies.
The luncheon is organized by the College of Science and the Notre Dame women’s basketball team in conjunction with local physicians James Kelly and Rafat Ansari. The theme of the luncheon will be “Docs in Pink.” Physicians and researchers who fight against breast cancer daily in the hospital or in the lab will be recognized during the luncheon and the game. The women’s basketball team has played a major role in funding the Pink Zone initiative, contributing more than $150,000 to the fundraising effort over the past two years.
Dean of the College of Science Gregory Crawford is excited about recognizing physicians and researchers fighting cancer.
“We are delighted to have Notre Dame alumna Anne Thompson, who is a tremendous role model for women battling breast cancer,” Crawford said. “Her fight gives inspiration to so many, whether they have been diagnosed with breast cancer themselves or not.”
Proceeds benefit the WBCA Pink Zone initiative, a global, unified effort of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) to assist in raising awareness and support to women with breast cancer. The funds are dispersed among several local nonprofit organizations through the Foundation of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center that assist with breast cancer screenings, education and support, as well as the national organization Kay Yow WBCA Cancer Fund. The late Kay Yow, the Fund’s namesake and former North Carolina State University head women’s basketball coach, was a past president and founding member of the WBCA, and a galvanizing voice for the Association. Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, and passed away in 2009 after facing her third bout with the disease.