ELIZABETH, NJ – Cancer survivors, family and friends mingled with their care givers and physicians while celebrating “Survivors Day”. The annual event, held every June in the Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center located at 225 Williamson Street in Elizabeth mixes food, prizes, friendship and camaraderie between staff and those that have battled cancer or blood related ailments.

The festivities started in the Radiation Oncology waiting room area with a bountiful array of catered food, salads and refreshments. The event then moved to the third-floor reception area for sweet desserts, speeches by staff and cancer survivor, Mary Jo D’Addesa Daniel and inspirational video’s in English and Spanish.

During her speech, Daniels showered the staff at the Cancer Center with compliments and kudo’s. 

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“I must admit that I ended up with the best medical team ever. Thank you, Dr. Levinson, for always listening to me babble, for listening to my concerns and answering every question I have, and for always rejoicing in my victories.

Thank you, Carol, for your pep talks and to the nurses in infusion, especially Rita, for their dedication and support. Rita is a top-notch professional and all around person. My husband and I can’t bring enough treats to repay them for all they’ve done for me.

The girls in the lab also deserve a thank you for always finding that one vein we can use. Thank you to Leidy, for always helping me with all the other "stuff" like letter writing, getting my messages to Dr. Levinson, and answering questions when she can. Many thanks to the rest of the staff for always making me feel at home.” stated Daniels 

This year’s theme was “Be Colorful” and it is truly a rainbow coalition of survivors at Trinitas.  Dr. Levinson provided a welcome speech in English and Spanish to the attentive group while a male survivor, Tom Anseaume, seated in the first row and center, lived up to the colorful theme by donning a long fluorescent pink wig.

Carol Blecher R.N, P.A., who will be retiring soon from TCCC, addressed the survivors and their care givers as she has during past survivor day celebrations.  

According to the National Survivors day website, “There are nearly 14.5 million people living with cancer in the U.S. today, and more than 32 million cancer survivors worldwide. This is the 30th Annual Survivors Day celebration, a traditional that is celebrated each June.

Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center has held a Survivors day each of the 12 years it has been serving patients in the tri-state area.

As the survivors left the event, each one was presented with a green duffle bag by concierge Jose Vega, filled with small gifts and tokens of appreciation. The gift bags were provided by Mary Jo Daniels and her supporters. “It was my friend Tina Zagha who came up with the idea. The students collected donations from students and staff. Some of my family members and friends sent donations too,” said Daniels.