15th Annual event celebrates cancer survivors
June 12, 2009 - Harris, N.Y. - Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC), Sullivan County's premier provider of health care services, celebrated National Cancer Survivors Day® with its 15th Annual Celebration of Life Picnic.
On Thurs., June 4, over 100 survivors and their families along with doctors, nurses, and administrators from CRMC gathered just outside the Garden Level Cafeteria. There was food, music, face painting and even pony rides as everyone in attendance celebrated life. A brief speaking program highlighted the event and included CRMC Chief Nursing Officer Barbara Gentile's courageous speech about her husband Gary's battle with MALT Cell Lymphoma, a cancer of the eye.
"We found out when an orbital surgeon notified us that there were growths in both of his eyes," Barbara said. Gary endured 16 radiation treatments with Barbara by his side. She told those in attendance that today Gary is "cancer-free!" Barbara urged family members and friends of those living with cancer to provide a strong support system.
She added, "Be there when they are in need and have a positive attitude. There is no room for negativity."
CRMC President and CEO Steven Ruwoldt lauded those in attendance, "Cancer affects nearly everyone in this community at some point in his/her life. It is important to recognize those who have remained strong through the tough times, and those who have survived. This day is for them."
Joining Ruwoldt and Gentile during the speaking program was Joseph Napolitano, M.D., president of Medical Staff and director of Laboratory Services, Geri Orr, director of Physician Services. Manuel Perry, M.D., and Heidi Pavese, FNP, represented CRMC's Oncology/Hematology department.
National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual, worldwide Celebration of Life that is held in hundreds of communities throughout the United States, Canada, and other participating countries. Participants unite in a symbolic event to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality.