Ingalls to host 17th annual conquering breast cancer forum Oct. 22

Every year, now-retired Chicago Public Schools teacher Rose Mary Reddice faithfully made an appointment for her “back-to-school” physical – just like the students she taught. 

She still does. Her annual checkup also includes a screening mammogram.

“August 2012 was no different,” she explains. 

But when Reddice’s mammogram results came back, she was shocked that doctors at Ingalls Hospital detected a tiny spot on her left breast. Following a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound, she was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer.

“That’s why I’m such an advocate of mammograms,” she explains. “It was too small for me to detect through a self-exam. When my doctor told me I had cancer, I said, ‘I think you have the wrong person; I feel fine.’”

Thankfully, Reddice’s cancer was caught early. She underwent a lumpectomy and lymph node removal, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Today, the effervescent mother of two and grandmother of 10 is as active as ever, gardening, practicing yoga and enjoying her book club meetings. She’s also a vocal advocate of early detection through mammograms.

Reddice will share her personal cancer story at the 17th Annual Conquering Breast Cancer Forum Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park.

Sponsored by Ingalls Memorial Hospital, The Southland Coalition to Conquer Breast Cancer and the Daily Southtown newspaper, the forum is a free educational awareness event that features oncology experts whose topics focus on medical and cultural issues surrounding breast cancer in the African-American community.

Valuable and relevant health information – appropriate for women as young as 16 – is also provided, along with touching stories from breast cancer survivors like Reddice. Other highlights include refreshments, a continental breakfast, door-prize drawings, exhibits and vendor displays until 2 p.m. 

Guest emcee is breast cancer survivor Tatisa Joiner, community leader, activist and founder of the Tatisa C. Joiner Foundation.  Speakers include hematologist/oncologist Kimberly Kruczek, D.O., and Terry Mason, M.D., chief operating officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health.

To register for this free event, call 708.915.6838 or go to