Approximately 1,000 cancer survivors and their guests, caregivers, and medical staff from , , and Rockville Centre gathered Wednesday night at Crest Hoillow Country Club to celebrate life beyond cancer.
The annual event, which is part of National Cancer Survivorship Day, included a dinner and several speakers.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering has held cancer survivorship events on Long Island since 2003. This marked the third year that the event was held at Crest Howllow, which is big enough to allow all three Long Island centers to celebrate together.
Cancer survivor and founder of Cycle for Survival Jennifer Goodman Linn spoke at the event, along with members of the medical staff. Linn’s survival has given her the philosophy to be fearless in all aspects of life. She encourages those living with cancer to not be afraid to ask for help and for things they need.
According to Deputy Physician-in-Chief and Medical Director of the Regional Care Network at MSKCC Dr. Maureen Killackey, the cancer survivors’ celebration is an opportunity to realize the amount of people who are touched by cancer. It is also rewarding to health care professionals to see their patients in a social setting.
“Cancer has long-time effects that we try to minimize,” said Killackey.
Survivor celebrations have been on the rise over the past 10 to 15 years, Killackey said. With new treatments and early detections, two-thirds of patients who have been diagnosed are now cured.
Nasal pharyngeal cancer survivor Patricia Shea said “this is also an opportunity to recognize Sloan-Kettering.”
Shea, a Shoreham resident, had a brother who was a patient at MSKCC before he passed away in 2004. When Shea was diagnosed, she turned to MSKCC. The center supported Shea, along with her friends and family.
“100 percent of their employees are nice and make things positive,” She said.
Killackey stressed the importance of collaboration between the patient, cancer physician, and the primary health care provider.
This event acknowledged the growing population of cancer survivors, which now stands at approximately 12 million nationwide.