FAIRFIELD — The annual Rose of Hope Luncheon, a benefit for the Norma Pfriem Breast Center (NPBC), takes place on Wednesday, June 5 at the Fairfield County Hunt Club. All proceeds benefit the Norma Pfriem Breast Center's programs and services for women in need. The Breast Center, part of Smilow Cancer Hospital, is an innovator in breast care in Connecticut and a model for breast centers throughout the state. The Center provides all women with compassionate, comprehensive screening and treatment, regardless of their ability to pay. The event begins at 11 a.m.

This year’s luncheon will mark the 20th anniversary of the Breast Center, which is dedicated to providing leading edge care for all those battling breast cancer. Connecticut has one of the highest rates of breast cancer incidence in the country. The Norma Pfriem Breast Center works to reduce the impact of the disease on the community.

Kassandra Savicki, a breast cancer survivor treated at the Norma Pfriem Breast Center, will speak about her experience. Savicki, a 39-year-old mother of two young who was working full time when she was diagnosed, faced challenges unique to young cancer patients. In the beginning, she was overwhelmed, but her team at the Breast Center guided her through her journey.

“Because of the support and care I had at home and at the Breast Center, I am here now, and I am not just surviving, I am thriving,” said Savicki.

Savicki credited her patient navigator with helping her through the complexities of breast cancer treatment. “The navigator coordinates care and helps patients make sense of it all,” she said. “They also help patients figure out the intangible things, like how to talk to your kids. The Norma Pfriem Breast Center provides patient navigation because they know it’s how women like me get to the other side of their journey.”

The Norma Pfriem Breast Center provides patient navigation to all clients although navigation is not covered by insurance. Navigation services are made available with the help of private donations raised through events like the Rose of Hope Luncheon.

The event co-chairs are Lynne Taikowski, president of the NPBC President’s Council; Leslie Noland and Finley Shaw, members, NPBC President’s Council, with special chairs Dana Scinto Colangelo and Lollie Mathews.

The luncheon is open to the community. For tickets and information, call 203-255-5546.

Norma Pfriem Breast Center provides nearly 1,500 uninsured and underinsured women with financial assistance for patient care and educates over 10,000 women and girls about breast cancer risk each year. One of only 500 sites accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), the Center provides a wide range of diagnostic care and treatment at its Bridgeport Hospital, Fairfield and Trumbull locations, including medical oncology, surgical and chemotherapy services, plastic surgery, mammography and radiation therapy, genetic risk assessment, clinical trial participation as well as wellness services like yoga, nutrition counseling and massage.