Dr. Lori Alfonse has spent 16 years as a breast cancer surgeon, but she has been walking in her patients' shoes for much longer than that.

"My mother had breast cancer, my mother's sister died of breast cancer, my mother's mother died of breast cancer and my mother's grandmother died of breast cancer," Alfonse begins.

That history led her to become the deputy physician in chief of the Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute. Aside from being known to her patients as a great doctor, though, the surgical oncologist is known for something else.

"Shoes are my thing," she smiles. "You know, everybody has a hobby of some sort and mine — my husband might say it's an illness!" she says, laughing.

A while back, Alfonse started collecting pink shoes. Soon, she had 31 pairs — enough for every day of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And what started as a hobby soon became part of her patients' healing.

"It's something that every October that I look forward to and that my patients look forward to: seeing what shoes I'm gonna be wearing on the day that they come!"

Her pink shoes have become a symbol around here. Different shades and personalities...

"Just like my patients, in honor of them and their fight against breast cancer," she says.

Alfonse has become somewhat of a celebrity on Instagram. And her sometimes 3-or-4-inch heels have taken breast cancer awareness to new heights.

"Some patients will say to me, 'How do you run around all day in those high heel shoes?' and I say, 'If I can run around all day in these shoes, imagine what I can do for you. Imagine what we can do together to help beat your breast cancer,'" she explains, "and it turns into a conversation piece."

A doctor who likes fancy footwear, taking strides toward beating breast cancer in pink shoes that help heal.

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