Breast Cancer Update, Walk MS, Paleo Cottage Pie Recipe

Breast Cancer​ Update

Only in Delaware could a meeting such as this exist. At the 16th annual Delaware Breast Cancer Update, oncologists, survivors and other health professionals mix and meet to discuss the latest in breast cancer treatment and survivorship. While other conferences may be solely for physicians, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition’s event gives everyone in the breast cancer community a chance to learn and share.

The update began as a small physician meeting to inform the Delaware medical community of trends in breast cancer. Now, 16 years later, it boasts an attendance of more than 300 people.

“The size of our state lends to collaboration,” says Vicky Tosh Morelli, DBCC’s director of information services.  “Because it is Delaware, meetings like this can be statewide and blended. It’s a unique interaction. You get high quality medical information from top doctors and quality of life information from survivors and those who work with them.”

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This year’s Breast Cancer Update, “Continuing the Breast Cancer Journey,” will not only focus on advances in breast cancer treatment and breast reconstruction, but self-image and sexuality, with a focus on the impact of a breast cancer diagnosis on young couples.

I wish this type of meeting was available for every disease community. When you live with a disease you may be familiar with other doctors in the area but you don’t necessarily get to meet them, let alone learn alongside them.  Imagine what it must be like for a patient to say to their physician, “Remember when we heard that speaker?” instead of “Look here at what I Googled.” Now that’s what I call patient navigation.

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Walk ​MS

For those living with a chronic disease, you know that diseases now have brand colors such as pink for breast cancer and in my case, orange for multiple sclerosis. This month, Delaware will be treated to an entire moving mass of orange, thanks to the hundreds who will gather statewide for the annual Walk MS events. I will be straight with you: I don’t look good in orange; it’s not my color. But I will tell you one thing, I look good at these walks because I am among my own. As someone living with MS, I am always humbled by these community gatherings as they remind me I am not alone in my struggles and they inspire me to do as much as I can within the confines of my disease.

While I draw strength that day from others who live with MS, I feel incredible support from those who are there to show support. As with many 5Ks, these events are coordinated by team captains who motivate those around them to support the effort. I feel like saluting these team captains. They take time out of their lives to not only fundraise, but to build community and educate others about a disease people usually do not understand unless they have to.

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“We see people we may not have seen for a year,” says Catherine Kaser, team captain for Team Hubcap at the Wilmington Walk MS event. “We get team spirit ideas from other groups for next year, and we feel like we’re doing something to rally moral support for those we know and financial support to help those we may not know. It’s a way of making our little drop in the bucket much, much bigger.”

In addition to critical research, funds raised by the Walk MS support programs offered by the Delaware chapter of the National MS Society.

“We have a wide range of programs,” says Emilee Keyser, Delaware chapter event manager. “We have a Home Able program where we help people make their homes more handicap accessible but we also have an adventure program where people living with MS get to do things such as dog sledding or sky diving.”

The growth in Walk MS event participation over time is a testament to Delaware’s ability to empower communities. The most recent increase in walkers at the Dover MS Walk is due to the growing involvement with Dover Air Force Base. Team captains, Air Force Captains, it’s humbling for those like me to see so many people leading the way for us—even if they do make me wear orange.

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Paleo Cottage Pie Recipe

Harvest Market in Hockessin recently posted this recipe for shepherd’s pie but with some healthy adjustments. By substituting mashed cauliflower for the potatoes and beef for the ground lamb, you have what’s called Cottage Pie. Friends of Paleo, rejoice! Everyone else, enjoy!

Paleo Cottage Pie 
(6-8 servings)

• 1.5 lbs ground lamb (or beef)
• 1 onion, chopped
• 0.5 lbs. crimini mushrooms, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
• 3 stalks celery, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup chicken or beef broth
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. pepper
• 1 tsp. dried thyme
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• 2 tsp. fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
• 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos (optional)
• 2 heads cauliflower, steamed until very soft
• 2 tbsp. olive oil (or butter or ghee)
• coconut oil (or fat of choice)


1. Melt coconut oil in two large pans over medium heat (or can do one pan at a time).
2. Add onion, mushrooms, carrots, celery and garlic to one pan. Sautée until soft (approx. 10 minutes).
3. Add ground meat to other pan. Sautée until cooked through. (approx. 15 minutes).
4. Season ground meat with Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos (optional), salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and rosemary.
5. Combine meat with vegetables in medium rectangular Pyrex dish (11″ x 7.5″).
6. Pour the broth evenly over the meat and vegetable mixture.
7. Preheat oven to 350° F.
8. In a food processor, purée the cauliflower with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Purée until the cauliflower mash is consistently smooth throughout.
9. Spread mashed cauliflower over the meat and vegetable base.
10. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

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Health Events

Saturday, April 6​

Southern Delaware Therapeutic & Recreational Horseback Riding Inc.’s 16th Annual Beach Ride & Walk
Location  Cape Henlopen State Park
Time  9 a.m.
More info.


Saturday, April 6

JDRF Delaware 5K for a Cure
Location  Rockford Park, Wilmington
Time  Noon (registration opens at 11 a.m.)
More info., 888-1117


Tuesday, April 9

Christiana Care Health System’s Celebrating Women’s Health Lecture Series: Fit, Fabulous & Over 40
Location  Main Auditorium, John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, Christiana Hospital campus, 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark
Time  7 p.m. to  8 p.m.
More info.  Register online, or call 800-693-CARE (2273)


Sunday, April 14

Banding Together to Fight Cancer 5K
Location  Christiana Towers, Newark
Time  1:30 p.m.
More info.


To submit your health-related event, email

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