The annual “Surf into Survivorship” celebration brought together more than 100 former patients, volunteers and oncology staff from Smilow Cancer Hospital’s Greenwich Hospital campus to pay tribute to cancer survivors.
“You are not just surfing and surviving. You are surfing and thriving!” Dickerman Hollister, MD, director of medical oncology at Greenwich Hospital, told the audience gathered at the terrace overlooking the hospital’s Carl and Dorothy Bennett Community Garden on June 7. “The last few years have brought many exciting new treatments for oncologists to use. It has never been more exciting to treat patients with cancer. We’re seeing many victories.”
Cancer survivorship is on the rise thanks to treatment advancements that prolong and enhance the quality of life. An estimated 15.5 million Americans are cancer survivors.
Among the event highlights were remarks from survivors, including Deidra Alfano of Rye Brook, NY, who last year completed a triathlon in her early 70s after beating colon cancer. “Survivorship is about navigating a path to wellness and my path to wellness began when I chose this hospital for my cancer care,” she said.
Breast cancer survivor Janel Bladow chose Greenwich on the recommendation of a friend who was treated at the hospital. “It’s interesting how the universe brings you want you need at the time you need it. My friend said I needed to meet her doctors and I am so glad I did,” she said.
The celebration featured information about resources available at the hospital and numerous partners in cancer care, including the Yale Cancer Genetic Counseling Program, the American Cancer Society, the Good Dog Foundation, CancerCare and Healing Touch.
Photo shows colon cancer survivor Deidra Alfano greets Dickerman Hollister, MD, director of medical oncology at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Greenwich Hospital campus, during the Hawaiian-themed party, Surf into Survivorship, to celebrate cancer survivorship.