Bluewater Health Foundation tickets on sale for October 11 gala

Guest speaker will be Amanda Lindhout, author who spent more than year in captivity in southern Somalia

This year’s Bluewater Health Foundation gala on Thursday, October 11 will feature Amanda Lindhout as keynote speaker.

Lindhout’s story made international headlines in 2008 when she was abducted by a group of masked men along while on assignment as a journalist in Somalia. Lindhout was held hostage for 460 days and survived on her strategy, fortitude and hope in the face of unimaginable adversity.

The gala takes place at the Dante Club on London Road.

“The Foundation’s annual gala has allowed us to bring incredible keynote speakers to our community for many years to great success, and we’re excited to continue that tradition by welcoming Amanda Lindhout this year,” said Kathy Alexander, executive director, Bluewater Health Foundation. “Storytelling is a big focus of the work that we do in the Foundation and Amanda’s story of resilience and survival is one that will resonate with our community.”

The event is being sponsored in part by NGL Supply Co. Ltd.

A bestselling author, Lindhout’s multiple atward-winning memoir of her experience in Somalia, A House in the Sky, has been on The Globe and Mail’s ‘Top Ten Bestsellers’ list for a record-breaking three and a half years. The book is now being made into a film by Hollywood production company Annapurna Pictures (Zero Dark Thirty, Her, American Hustle, Joy, Foxcatcher), with Oscar-nominated actress Rooney Mara playing the role of Amanda.

An internationally renowned speaker, Lindhout has shared stages with such luminaries as Bill Clinton and Richard Branson. She has visited over 90 countries to share her story, captivating audiences as large as 25,000 people. She has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times Magazine, Dateline, The Today Show, Morning Joe and Anderson Cooper among other popular media.

Since 2013, the Foundation’s annual gala has successfully raised over $300,000 for important initiatives and departments at Bluewater Health. Proceeds from the gala this year will benefit the important work of Bluewater Health’s Mammography Department, and specifically, assist in the purchase of new equipment.

The department provides over 12,000 mammograms a year to women in Sarnia-Lambton and surrounding counties. Hardworking technicians and volunteers aim to create an environment where patients feel as comfortable as possible. Such as is for all technology, new innovation provides enhanced features and improved performance. Bluewater Health’s current mammography equipment is nearing the end of its lifespan and, as a result, the Mammography Department has experienced increased downtime.

To improve patient experience, two mammography machines, one of which will be equipped with new innovations like tomosynthesis and contrast-enhanced imaging, need to be purchased. In addition, this equipment will be more ergonomically friendly and provide a more comfortable experience for patients during tests.

“One in eight women will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer in their lives. It is routine mammograms and, ultimately, early diagnosis that remain the first line of defense against breast cancer. That’s why having current equipment that is in good working order is critical to providing accurate diagnosis,” says Dr. Youssef Almalki, medical director, Diagnostic Imaging, Bluewater Health. “The equipment we are purchasing will be more ergonomically friendly and provide a more comfortable experience for patients during tests. These new machines will keep us on the cutting edge of early detection and accurate diagnosis.”

In addition to Lindhout’s keynote speech, the gala will include a five-course meal, live auction, and musical entertainment.

Tickets are available at the Bluewater Health Foundation (in person at the Bluewater Health building in Sarnia) or by calling (519) 464-4408. Each ticket includes a charitable tax receipt for $100.

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