Lynn Flanagan to be the featured speaker at annual Pink Zone Brunch

Author: Stephanie Healey

2014 Pink Zone Women's Basketball game

University of Notre Dame alumna Lynn Larkin Flanagan will be the keynote speaker at the annual Pink Zone Brunch on Sunday (Feb. 1) at Notre Dame’s Purcell Pavilion.

Organized by the College of Science and the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, the brunch will bring together local oncologists, researchers, survivors, patients and their families. The brunch will be held at 10 a.m. before the Notre Dame women’s basketball Pink Zone game against Wake Forest at 1 p.m.

A breast cancer survivor, Flanagan decided to combine her passion for community service with her experience as a breast cancer patient to help educate women in the San Diego community about topics ranging from the importance of early detection to genetic predisposition. She established a monthly support group called Linked by Lynn, which now has more than 70 members, that shares news about the latest treatments and lifestyle choices that reduce the risk of recurrence. Flanagan also speaks regularly to high school teens in the San Diego area about breast health and serves as an advocate for women meeting with their cancer doctors for the first time.

Flanagan’s enthusiasm for community outreach and education has been recognized across the country. In 2002, she earned the annual Community Service Award from the Notre Dame Club of San Diego. In 2006, she received the Breastlink Spirit Award, and in 2008, CancerCare in New York City named Flanagan the Donor of the Year for organizing an international event on Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

Lynn Larkin Flanagan Lynn Larkin Flanagan

“We are honored to have a dedicated breast cancer patient advocate like Lynn Flanagan speak at the Pink Zone Brunch this year,” said Gregory Crawford, dean of the College of Science. “She uses her commitment to service to others to improve the lives of women affected by breast cancer in the San Diego community. Her passion and work are truly inspirational.”

Flanagan was a member of the first group of women accepted to the University of Notre Dame, and both Flanagan and her husband, Frank, graduated in 1975. She pursued a career in professional sales and sales management until 1986, when she decided to retire and focus her energy on her family and volunteering.

“Lynn is an exceptional role model for our young people, not only as a result of her successful fight against breast cancer, but also through her continuing work to educate others on the importance of early detection and treatment of this disease,” said Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw. “We are even more proud to welcome her back home to Notre Dame and are so thrilled she will bring her message of hope and inspiration as the keynote speaker for this year’s Pink Zone Brunch.”

A limited number of brunch tickets are still available for purchase by contacting Kim Kirkpatrick in the College of Science at 574-631-3136 or Tickets are $100 each or $150 per couple. Each ticket includes the brunch, admission to the basketball game and refreshments at Club Naimoli during the game.

In addition to the brunch, the College of Science has organized two 24-hour Spin-a-Thons beginning Friday (Jan. 30) in collaboration with RecSports and Knollwood Country Club to raise money for Pink Zone. Spinners interested in participating in the on campus RecSports Spin-a-Thon, beginning at noon, can sign up online and make a donation via RecRegister. Anyone interested in spinning at Knollwood Country Club, starting at 3 p.m., should contact Rhonda Bremer at for available time slots.

Pink Zone proceeds benefit the Pink Zone initiative, a global, unified effort of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) to assist in raising awareness and support for women with breast cancer. All of the funds raised this year will be distributed locally to Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center and RiverBend Cancer Services to assist with breast cancer screenings, education and support, and to the national organization Kay Yow WBCA Cancer Fund. The late Kay Yow, the fund’s namesake, was a past president and founding member of the WBCA who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away in 2009.

Contact: Stephanie Healey, 574-631-5833,