It was a day of tears and hugs – but also a day of rejoicing – as CarePoint Health held its “Colors of Courage, Embracing Life & Each Other,” its first-ever Cancer Survivors Day at Bayonne Medical Center on Saturday, June 30 on the front lawn of the city’s hometown hospital.
Individuals who have triumphed over cancer such as Bayonne resident Pam O’Donnell – and those who continue to battle it, such as Madeline LoRe – poured their hearts out to the 125 people in attendance, speaking of their treatments and urging anyone with the disease to continue to fight it.
Forty-five survivors, buoyed by family and friends, enjoyed the day of homage, empowerment and fraternity, which began with a luncheon and ended with rousing speeches about never giving up.
“Thank you for joining us today,” said Peter Daniels, Chief Operating Officer of CarePoint Health. “This is a day to celebrate life and an opportunity to recognize and support cancer survivors and their loved ones. We also wanted to educate the community about the importance of prevention and early detection.”
O’Donnell spoke emotionally about her bout with cancer, a fight she is winning, crediting her doctor, Devrajan Iyengar, who she saw on a daily basis at the height of her treatment four years ago. Iyengar, Cancer Committee Chair at Bayonne Medical Center, spoke about his 30-plus years treating patients with cancer at the facility.
“My personal mission is to seek out and lend my story, my shoulders and my heart to anyone in need,” said LoRe, who founded the Madeline Fiadini LoRe Foundation that funds cancer screenings for those who cannot afford them. “This 35-year-old story (of fighting cancer) is the greatest lesson that I can share in faith, hope and love.”
The cancer programs at Bayonne Medical Center and Christ Hospital, both CarePoint facilities, are the only two cancer programs in Hudson County accredited by the American College of Surgeons, where local patients can receive care close to home.
Other speakers at the Bayonne event were Matt Cohen, American Cancer Society Board Member; Dr. Vijayant Singh, Bayonne Medical Center Chief Hospital Executive; and Christine Stryker, BMC Senior Administrative Officer. In addition to the formal program, attendees were able to share with each other their experiences of fighting cancer.
At the program’s conclusion, survivors and medical center volunteers posed for a group picture to remember the day.
A similar event was held for survivors from CarePoint’s Christ Hospital and Hoboken University Medical Center on June 23 in Jersey City.
CarePoint’s celebration was held in coordination with national Cancer Survivors Day, observed this year on June 3. In the United States, more than 15 million people are alive today after being diagnosed with cancer.
About CarePoint Health
CarePoint Health brings quality, patient-focused health care to Hudson County. Combining the resources of three area hospitals, Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital in Jersey City, and Hoboken University Medical Center, CarePoint Health provides a new approach to deliver health care that puts the patient front and center. CarePoint leverages a network of top doctors, nurses and other medical professionals whose expertise and attentiveness work together to provide complete coordination of care, from the doctor’s office to the hospital to the home. Patients benefit from the expertise and capabilities of a broad network of leading specialists and specialized technology. And at CarePoint Health, all medical professionals emphasize preventive medicine and focus on educating patients to make healthy life choices. For more information on its facilities, partners and services, visit www.carepointhealth.org.