Calera resident to be honored at Taste of Teal Gala
Published 10:38 am Thursday, January 28, 2016
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
CALERA— Each year at the Taste of Teal Gala, four community members are recognized with the “Legacy of Laura” honor for their support of gynecologic cancer. This year’s Healthcare Hero award will go to Coretta Collins, a nurse practitioner at Hematology and Oncology Associates of Alabama.
The Calera resident said her work began when her mother, Charlena K. Miller, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Collins took care of her mother until Miller passed away, but Collins intended to keep her mother’s legacy alive.
“As a part of going through that experience, it sparked me to start a career in oncology,” Collins said. “From there, I just became more active with ovarian and all cancer in general.”
She started scholarships in her mother’s honor and teamed up with her brothers to hold programs throughout Alabama to fund the scholarships. Collins said the programs spread awareness and education about ovarian cancer in conjunction with praise and worship.
“A lot of people don’t know (about ovarian cancer),” Collins explained. “The thing about ovarian cancer is the symptoms are so vague. It’s so easy to ignore.”
At work, Collins sees patients with all kinds of cancer everyday. She said the work is challenging, but it’s rewarding to give back and care for patients going through rough times.
Collins got involved with the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation when she heard about the Head Over Teal 5k the organization holds every year. Each year, since the beginning, Collins has formed a team for the event.
She said she has always thought the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation is a great organization, which is why she’s tried to stay active in it. Collins said she has always talked about wanting to attend the gala, but she never expected to be nominated for an award.
“It is such a huge honor, and I was so happy and excited when I found out about it,” she said. “I had no idea I had been nominated for it.”
The Taste of Teal Gala will be held Saturday, March 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the Cahaba Grand Ballroom. The event features dinner and drinks, live and silent auctions, casino games and live music.
Advance tickets for the gala are $75 per person through Feb. 20 and $100 per person after. Tickets include dinner, drinks and play money for the casino games.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Thinkoflaura.org/TasteofTeal.
“I just feel like it is such a huge honor,” Collins said. “I’m still taking it all in. It’s pretty amazing. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share more of my story and the impact I hope to make.”