“I am not just ‘surviving cancer’… I am ‘living’ with cancer.” An inspiring and poignant statement from guest speaker and cancer survivor Peter Sennert at Winthrop-University Hospital’s 13th Annual Cancer Survivors Day dinner emphasized the significance of the evening. It was a distinct reminder that more people are not only “surviving,” but “living” their lives with cancer, and experiencing both the joys and challenges that life holds.
Harry Staszewski, MD, Chief of Winthrop’s Division of Oncology/Hematology and Chairman of the Cancer Survivors Day Committee (left) celebrates with guest speaker and cancer survivor Peter Sennert.
The event, held in June at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale, was attended by more than 400 patients, family members and Winthrop staff. In his welcoming remarks, Harry Staszewski, MD, Chief of Winthrop’s Division of Oncology/ Hematology and Chairman of the Cancer Survivors Day Committee, said, “We know that tonight you will be hearing about all the wonderful things that Winthrop is doing to enhance its cancer program. But we don’t want you to forget why Winthrop is doing all of these things – it’s so more and more of you can come back year after year to enjoy events like these.”
The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a “survivor” as anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. The annual celebration applauds the resilience of the human spirit, as well as recognizes the significant strides made in the fight against cancer.
Peter Sennert (back row, center) celebrates life with his family at Winthrop’s 13th Annual Cancer Survivors Day dinner.
Mr. Sennert, diagnosed 10 years ago with multiple myeloma, thanked Winthrop’s team for enabling him to continue living in spite of his cancer diagnosis. In addition to “surviving” rigorous treatments, he explained that he has been “living” – sharing a long list of highlights including six “century bike rides” (100 miles long); one son going off to college and another graduating from high school with honors; and most importantly, he said, “the privilege of spending 10 more years with the love of my life, my wife, Maryellen.”
Sharing the optimistic mood of the evening, keynote speaker 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 Winthrop, praised Winthrop’s profound commitment to cancer services.
Dr. Chalas cited numerous examples, most notably the innovative use of technologic advances such as CyberKnife radiosurgery and robotic surgery, the Hospital’s dedication to cancer clinical trials and research, and the increase in patient support services in the areas of patient navigators, social workers, financial counselors and genetics.
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 Winthrop, addresses the crowd at the 13th Annual Cancer Survivors Day dinner.
In addition to the dinner celebration on June 9, which included dancing and raffle prizes, Winthrop’s Institute for Cancer Care sponsored an educational Cancer Survivors Workshop on June 22.
The workshop addressed dealing with the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis, survivorship issues and nutrition.
Winthrop-University Hospital’s Cancer Institute is accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer.
For more information about cancer services at Winthrop, please call 1-866-WINTHROP.
Vol. 21, No. 2
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