Windham Area Residents Celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day
WILLIMANTIC, CT, June 4, 2009 – Residents of the Windham area gathered at Windham Hospital last Sunday to celebrate, to reflect, and to cheer on the many survivors of cancer and their families. “This event lifted the spirits of all who attended,” said Carol Palonen, RN, and NCSD coordinator for Windham Hospital. “It was a day filled with joy, camaraderie, hope, compassion, faith, and love.” The event—the fourth annual Celebration hosted by the Hospital—was sponsored by Eileen Ossen, in memory of Jeffrey P. Ossen, and by the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Gina Barreca, well-known author and humorist, delivered the keynote address with humor and grace. The afternoon was a “compelling and an extraordinary experience for all,” according to Palonen, and the light jazz guitar of Phil Palonen rounded out the afternoon.
A cancer survivor is defined by the NCSD Foundation as anyone living with a history of cancer, from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. Approximately 10.5 million Americans are now living with and beyond a diagnosis of cancer. In the United States, almost half of all men and one-third of all women are expected to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Palonen comments, “We need to learn as much as possible about this disease because many forms of cancer can be prevented and most cured if detected early. Major advances in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment have resulted in longer survival, and therefore a growing number of cancer survivors. Despite the adversities they face, these people continue to show resilience by living active, productive lives,” says Carol Palonen, RN and NCSD Coordinator. “They face each day with courage and dignity in their fight against cancer and serve as an inspiration to all of us.”
Windham Hospital is an acute care hospital providing a wide range of health and community services to 19 towns in northeastern Connecticut, and recently affiliated with Hartford Healthcare. For more information about services and physicians, visit www.windhamhospital.org.