Survivors “Parade” with Pride at Stony Brook’s National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration
Ted Kennedy, Jr., Activist and Cancer Survivor, shares story as Inspirational Speaker
STONY BROOK, NY, June 14, 2012 – Hundreds of cancer survivors, their families and friends, came to the Stony Brook University Cancer Center on June 10 to celebrate Stony Brook’s 8th annual National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD). The crowd connected with the day’s Inspirational Speaker Ted Kennedy, Jr., activist and cancer survivor, who told fellow survivors to turn their disease into a “transforming experience” in their lives.
“It is great to be here at Stony Brook, and I look forward to National Cancer Survivors Day every year because I get to meet other survivors who always continue to provide me with inspiration, gratitude and perspective,” said Kennedy. “Stony Brook is establishing itself as a nationally recognized institution for cancer research and has successfully attracted many gifted scientists and clinicians. Everyone on Long Island is grateful that they can access such outstanding care in their own backyard.”
“Today is a wonderful day, when we celebrate our patients from the Stony Brook Cancer Center; patients who enroll in our clinical trials, patients who have given so much to further the search for cures for so many forms of cancer, and to all our patients who live with and through the ravage that is cancer,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., Senior Vice President, Health Sciences, Stony Brook University, and Dean of the School of Medicine. “With our expansion of the multiple clinical cancer programs at Stony Brook Medicine, we are now frequently able to treat certain forms of cancer in a personalized way with targeted therapies, with the goal of reducing complication rates, enhancing chances for cure, and always in a caring and compassionate way.”
Stony Brook Medicine is actively planning a state-of-the-art translational medical research building (MART) that will focus on cancer research, advanced imaging, and a new cancer center. The 250,000-square-foot-facility would be located on the Stony Brook Medicine campus where scientists and physicians would work side by side to research and discover new treatments and technology. The MART’s cancer care will triple Stony Brook’s capacity for outpatient services and enhance all cancer care for Long Island and beyond.
The many survivors treated at Stony Brook have different stories to tell regarding their personal journeys with cancer.
Caitlin Zaugg, 17, of Medford, had a special connection with Kennedy and met him one-on-one to share their experiences. Zaugg is being treated for osteosarcoma, the same form of bone cancer that Kennedy had in 1973 when he lost a leg to the disease.
Joel Spinner, of Stony Brook, has been treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a form of leukemia that usually afflicts children, for several years. Spinner, all smiles while soaking up the June sun and eating an ice cream cone, said he draws inspiration from survivors of all ages but especially the children.
Mike Magerko and D. Lynne Wager, of Coram, had an unusual story to tell. They married in July 2008 while both were being treated for cancer. Magerko has been treated for lung cancer for more than four years, and Wager has had breast cancer since 2006. Both draw off of each other for inspiration and hope.
NCSD is an annual, worldwide celebration each June when hundreds of communities partake in a symbolic event to celebrate survivorship and life.
About Stony Brook University Cancer Center:
Stony Brook University Cancer Center is Suffolk County’s cancer care leader and a leader in education and research. With more than 20,000 inpatient and outpatient visits annually, the Cancer Center includes 12 multidisciplinary teams: Breast Cancer; Colorectal Cancer; Gynecologic Oncology; Head, Neck and Thyroid Oncology; Lung Cancer; Melanoma; Neurologic Oncology; Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Sarcoma; Stem Cell Transplantation and Hematologic Malignancy; Upper Gastrointestinal Oncology; and Urologic Oncology. The cancer program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as a Teaching Hospital Cancer Program and received the Commission’s Outstanding Achievement Award. The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center is the first center in New York State to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. To learn more, visit www.cancer.stonybrookmedicine.edu.
© Stony Brook University 2012