Appearances by cancer survivors and an MLB All-Star player were among the highlights at Greenwich Hospital’s annual “Swing into Survivorship” celebration, which drew more than 175 former patients, volunteers and oncology staff from Smilow Cancer Hospital’s Greenwich Hospital Campus to pay tribute to cancer survivors.
“All of us here today have been touched by cancer in one way or another. But with the support of family, friends and our amazing oncology team, I hope we have provided the support, encouragement and care that you needed. Life after cancer is worth celebrating,” Norman Roth, Greenwich Hospital president and chief executive officer told the audience gathered at the terrace overlooking the hospital’s Carl and Dorothy Bennett Community Garden on June 6.
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.
“Research is continuing. Research saves lives. Research makes it possible for people with cancer to suffer less,” said Roy Herbst, MD, PhD, chief of Medical Oncology, Smilow Cancer Hospital.
During the baseball-themed celebration, Carmen Elledias of Belford, NY, spoke of the physical and psychological challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis. But in time, fear gave way to hope. Today Elledias said she is “thankful, grateful and blessed” to be a colon cancer survivor.
MLB All-Star player Lee Mazzilli of the 1986 World Series Mets was on hand to greet guests. Mazzilli has a foundation in honor of his brother, who died of lung cancer.
The celebration featured information about hospital and community resources such as the Yale Cancer Genetic Counseling Program, the American Cancer Society, the Good Dog Foundation, CancerCare, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Gilda’s Club, Rye YMCA LiveStrong program, Saxon-Kent, NicholsMD of Greenwich and Alternative Hair Solutions. Maria Vero, a Fairfield University School of Nursing student, entertained the crowd with the electric violin.