Golden Globe-winning, three-time Emmy-nominated actress and singer Ann Jillian will be the keynote speaker at the seventh annual National Cancer Survivors Day® at the Cancer Center at Stony Brook University Medical Center. Held on Sunday, June 12, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, the event brings cancer survivors and their families together to celebrate living beyond cancer with their physicians, nurses, and Cancer Center staff.
National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual, worldwide celebration of life held in hundreds of communities throughout the United States, Canada, and other countries. The non-profit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation supports events at hospitals and organizations nationwide. Participants unite in the symbolic event to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful and productive.
Jillian’s personal story of cancer survival illustrates that life can be meaningful, productive, and successful after illness. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985, Jillian won a Golden Globe Award for The Ann Jillian Story in 1988, an autobiographical story that brought a positive and hopeful side of breast cancer to millions of viewers around the world. An accomplished actress and singer in television, on stage, and in the movies, she has added the role of motivational speaker since her diagnosis and has touched thousands worldwide.
“Surviving and Thriving” will be Jillian’s message to the Stony Brook survivors. The focus of her presentation will be on why it is important in life not just to sustain “survival” but to thrive with a rewarding and fulfilling life. She will talk about “reinventing” ourselves and will share how, despite ups and downs, after cancer she reinvented herself in various ways in her business and personal life.
“I have felt the profound presence of love, hope, and mercy, even through my experience with breast cancer,” said Jillian. “That has strengthened me to accept, adapt and move on, and sharing that positive message is my celebration of hope.”
“National Cancer Survivors Day is a treasured annual celebration as well as a time to bring attention to the many issues cancer survivors face,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, Senior Vice President of Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine, as well as a nationally recognized hematologist and cancer researcher. “We are thrilled to have Ann Jillian share her victory and celebrate with our patients and their personal victories on a day that offers much hope for continued advances in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment.”
Jillian’s address is being made possible through the generous sponsorship of Gloria and Mark Snyder. The event at SBUMC is free, and the celebration honors all people living with and beyond cancer, regardless of where they received treatment.
The day includes many activities and light refreshments. Inspiring works of art by cancer survivors will displayed in the Cancer Center. Outdoor games include dunk-a-doc, bedpan golf, chemo bag toss, as well as a scavenger hunt and face painting. Throughout the afternoon will be chair yoga sessions, musical entertainment, and the annual “Parade of Survivors.”
For more information, call Stony Brook Health Connect at (631) 444-4000. To register online, go to Stony Brook University Cancer Center. For more information about outpatient cancer services at SBUMC, call (631) 638-1000.