On Sunday, June 5, 2011, more than 600 cancer survivors and their loved ones headed to Fox Chase Cancer Center – but this time, it was for fun. To commemorate National Cancer Survivors Day, Fox Chase’s Board of Associates held its annual food-tasting event, Plain & Fancy, with a special focus on survivorship this year.
The survivorship program took place in the Center’s Auditorium, hosted by Joseph A. Frick, the former President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, and a Fox Chase colon cancer survivor. Many folks in the audience related to the stories Mr. Frick shared about his experience. In the room next door, Carrie Flower invited younger guests into a nearby room for a live show and book reading.
Next, Mr. Frick introduced Kim Hagerich, honorary chair of the event, and a Fox Chase breast cancer survivor. Kim not only dealt with cancer herself, but she watched her mother fight the disease and eventually lose her life to cancer. Through her journey, this young mother and wife became a patient advocate and established a local chapter of the Young Survival Coalition.
The program ended with the CHASE Awards, which represent Courage, Heart, Advocacy, Service and Education with regards to survivorship. Awards were presented to Crystal Denlinger, MD, medical oncologist; The Breathing Room; and Janet Engstrom, of Fox Chase’s Board of Associates.
Guests filed out of the auditorium and headed straight to the sunny courtyard where two tents were lined with tables featuring a variety of dishes from local restaurants. Joyful music filled the air, performed by the Ken Ulansey Ensemble. The Phillie Phanatic entertained both children and adults alike. Survivors and their friends and family connected with others, which made the event meaningful for everyone.
As the celebration ended, several children gathered in the newly dedicated survivors garden and planted daisies, which you can see in the following three-minute photo montage, which highlights the celebration.
We hope your summer is off to a wonderful start and hope to see you at next year’s cancer survivors celebration!