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Emanuel Medical to host annual cancer awareness event
Cancer survivor “newbie” Dixie Woolford leads the Survivors March at the 2008 Cancer Awareness Event at Emanuel Medical Plaza. - photo by Journal file photo
National Breast Cancer Awareness month has taken on a new level of nationwide recognition this year, with even National Football League players electing to wear pink to increase awareness of the importance of early detection.
Here in Turlock, though, Emanuel Medical Center has been touting the importance of cancer awareness for 14 years with their annual Cancer Awareness Event, to be held on Thursday.
Visitors will be treated to hors d’oeuvres and a speech from author and breast cancer survivor Kelly Corrigan, who wrote “The Middle Place.” However, for the majority of the more than 500 who will attend Thursday’s event, the highlight will undoubtedly be the cancer survivor march.
“I guess at its heart this is really a celebration of survival for anyone who’s ever been through any kind of cancer,” said Executive Director of Emanuel’s Regional Cancer Services Sanjiv Kashyap. “… It’s to celebrate another milestone in the fact that they’ve survived another year.”
Many of those survivors will be in the audience on Thursday simply because of the early detection championed by the Cancer Awareness Event. The cure rate for breast cancer is now near 96 percent if diagnosed early, Kashyap said.
The event is also designed, in part, to show off the Emanuel Medical Plaza’s comprehensive cancer program through tours.
“Technology is wonderful, buildings are beautiful, it’s great, we love all that. But when it comes all down to it, cancer is a unique disease,” Kashyap said.
Cancer is different from other illnesses, he said, in that patients come in daily and bond with their caretakers. Kashyap lauded Emanuel’s staff for investing in their patients and offering a sense of community vital to recovery.
Emanuel has also sought to address the many facets of the life-altering disease through a series of workshops held throughout October, leading up to Thursday’s event. Attendees at the various events were taught how to financially prepare for serious illness, learned to deal with the stress of serious illness while still maintaining a regular life, and even studied yoga while receiving tips on healthy living.
It all comes down to simplifying what can be an overwhelming diagnosis, Kashyap said, and offering patients tools to beat cancer.
“My personal philosophy is that I want patients, people of the community, to be empowered,” Kashyap said. “Medicine can be demystified for the average human being. I don’t think it needs to be something people look at as a lot of long Latin words and technology I’ll never understand.”
Emanuel Medical Center’s 2009 Cancer Awareness Event will be held on Thursday at Emanuel Medical Plaza, 880 E. Tuolumne Rd. Hors d’oeuvres will be served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the cancer survivor march and program will begin at 7 p.m. Kelly Corrigan, breast cancer survivor and author of “The Middle Place” will be the keynote speaker.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.