|Survivor Julie Gonzales celebrates with her daughter, Katherine, at NYU Winthrop’s Cancer Survivors Day Dinner. Mrs. Gonzales inspired all those in attendance with her moving story of her five-year battle with cancer. The evening’s keynote speaker, Jeannine Villella, DO, Associate Director of NYU Winthrop’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology, with Kent Chan, MD, Attending Gynecologic Oncologist at NYU Winthrop.
Celebrated around the world each year, Cancer Survivors Day brings together survivors and their loved ones for a celebration of life, a day to reflect on their journey, share their experiences with other survivors, and thank those who have supported them along the way. NYU Winthrop’s 15th Annual Cancer Survivors Day Celebration, held in June at the Chateau Briand in Westbury, brought together survivors and their loved ones, as well as physicians and staff from NYU Winthrop’s Cancer Services, for an evening infused with camaraderie, hope, laughter, joy and inspiration.
“Each year our celebration gives us a chance to join with you – our survivors and guests – for an evening that is meant to celebrate optimism and the progress that has been made in battling this disease,” said Garry Schwall, Chief Operating Officer at NYU Winthrop. “Although I am proud of our team and the services we provide at NYU Winthrop, I am most proud to congratulate each and every one of you for your courage and zest for life. Your determination continues to inspire us each and every day.”
A ‘survivor’ is anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life, according to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation. National Cancer Survivors Day is the day each year that we pause to honor the strength and courage of those who are living with a history of cancer.
“All of you in the room have so many things going on simultaneously, both good and bad, and you handle them all with grace and courage. You smile, laugh, give thanks and celebrate,” said keynote speaker Jeannine Villella, DO, Associate Director of NYU Winthrop’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology, who spoke about how her patients have changed her life. “You have taught me how to enjoy and appreciate life, no matter what else is going on.”
Guests were also touched by survivor Julie Gonzales, a married mother of five children, who delivered an inspirational speech about her five-year battle with cancer. Diagnosed when she was pregnant with her youngest child, Mrs. Gonzales has not only survived – but thrived – during her long journey.
“It’s important to know that you have the strength within you to get through anything,” she said. She also thanked the NYU Winthrop team for their care and support, stating that “all the resources you could possibly need are available to you at NYU Winthrop.”
The celebration at the Chateau Briand included dinner and dancing, as well as the opportunity to win raffle prizes. NYU Winthrop also held an educational Cancer Survivors Workshop in June, which addressed two important topics: “cancer screenings for survivors” and “integrative and holistic approaches to prostate cancer.”
NYU Winthrop Hospital ’s Cancer Institute is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and the Hospital’s Breast Health Center is accredited by the prestigious National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers. In addition, NYU Winthrop was recently named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s “100 Hospitals and Health Systems With Great Oncology Programs” list, which recognizes some of the nation’s most outstanding hospitals that are on the cutting edge of cancer treatment, prevention and research.
Pictured at NYU Winthrop’s 15th Annual Cancer Survivors Day celebration are (l.-r.) Jonathan Haas, MD, Director of Radiation Oncology at NYU Winthrop; Garry Schwall, NYU Winthrop’s Chief Operating Officer; and Eva Chalas, MD, Director of Clinical Cancer Services, Vice-Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at NYU Winthrop.
For more information about cancer services at NYU Winthrop, visit www.winthrop.org or call 1-866-WINTHROP.