Health & Wellness

'The Art of Healing' Event Renews Beauty In Life for Cancer Survivors at Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center

3d7f65cf45d3bc253414_Shannon_Vick_speaks_at_Art_of_Healing.JPG
Shannon Vick, was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 33-years-old and 27 weeks pregnant with her fourth child, shared her story among fellow cancer survivors at “The Art of Healing.”
35e4029a2027df736a27_NJSO_at_Art_of_Healing.JPG
String quartet of the NJSO gave a special performance at “The Art of Healing,” an event held by Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center in honor of all cancer survivors. ​​
b52c8ed65888b6cbb9fb_FullSizeRender__58_.jpg
Dr. Molly Gabel, Medical Director, Radiology Oncology Credits: Bobbie Peer
e973c1a3e4d551ae08b5_IMG_6836.JPG
Lynn Lang, R.N., Chief Integration Officer Credits: Bobbie Peer
2691ddc5b36574ca6a75_IMG_6886.JPG
Cancer survivor Shannon Vick of Berkeley Heights talks to attendees after presentation and show. Credits: Bobbie Peer
7b856e8f51dba4acc98d_IMG_6845.JPG
The attendees enjoyed a buffet before the "Art of Healing" presentation and entertainment. Credits: Bobbie Peer
3d7f65cf45d3bc253414_Shannon_Vick_speaks_at_Art_of_Healing.JPG

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, cast the shadow of our burden behind us. -- Samuel Smiles "Wherever you are on your journey as a survivor, never lose hope," said cancer survivor Shannon Vick of Berkeley Heights.

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ -  It's been a year since the launch of the partnership between Summit Medical Group and MD Anderson Cancer Center, and together, they have met many milestones.

Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center hosted a well attended "The Art of Healing" event last week at their Berkeley Heights campus to honor people afflicted with cancer through art, inspirational music, and story-sharing. The evening paid tribute to survivors and the commitment of Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center to promoting healthy and happy survivorship for their patients. 

Sign Up for E-News

The evening included music by Rebekah Johnson, Hyewon Kim, Mike Stewart and Ming Yang, a string quartet from the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, playing their popular Broadway Bound program through the NJSO Music and Wellness Program and art exhibits with local artists in attendance. 

Cancer survivor Shannon Vick of Berkeley Heights shared her story and was a beacon of hope and inspiration to the room of survivors. 

The unimaginable happened to Vick four years ago at age 33, 26 weeks pregnant with her fourth child -- she found a lump in her right breast.  " [I was] young, no family history, and I didn't give cancer much of a thought," said Vick. "I found it because I was pregnant and my breasts were sore."

She was the poster child for low risk for breast cancer. She reiterated to the room of survivors, who also know too well, -- the importance to be proactive -- and not take the mindset that it won't happen to me.

She walked through her journey from diagnosis, 12 weeks of chemo to the birth of her child, a recovery period, to more chemo and radiation, to her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. "When I really think about what I have been through, it's hard to believe that I did it," she said. "It sounds exhausting and it was." ---  When she looks back,  she considers herself lucky. "The baby girl got me through the first four treatments. Whenever I started to feel sorry for myself, all I had to look at was my four beautiful children and I knew I was lucky because this treatment existed and I was going to be healthy when it was all over," she said. 

When Dr. Diana Addis, Breast Surgeon at Summit Medical Group told Vick that "we have a plan for you and the outlook was good," she told her doctor that there was no other outlook but good. "I had four kids under the age of five and one that I hadn't met yet. And there was no way I was planning to let them grow up without a mother. I was ready to do whatever it took to get healthy."

"The amount of collaboration and seamless communication between the doctors in the group made all the difference in getting me and my unborn child through this ordeal safely," she said. 

Vick has the utmost gratitude and respect for everyone at Summit Medical Group, from the "receptionists who remembers your name, and the nurse navigators who hold your hand through the pain and make you smile despite of it, to the doctors who diagnose and treat you -- doing everything in their power to make sure you walk out those doors as a healthy person."

This collaboration and seamless communication is a focus at Summit Medical Group MD Anderson. Lynn Lang, R.N., Chief Integration Officer, provided some prospective of the advancements since Summit Medical Group's partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center. She told the attendees the center places special emphasis on continuity of care by providing fully integrated, multidisciplinary cancer care for their patients.

The partnership with the No. 1 cancer center is a "true partnership," said Dr. Molly Gabel, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology. "We share our best practices and they share with us," she said. "They provided a lot of guidance and expert advise. As a result, we have met a lot milestones over the past year."

One big change since the partnership is the clinical research program, said Dr. Gabel. "Because of MD Anderson, we have clinical trials here that offer wonderful new drugs that can increase chance of cure for cancer." 

"What we want is, as a group, to offer same chance of survival with less side effects. We are looking at trials to operate with smaller incisions, shorten hospital stays, decrease the amount of days lost from work or time away from family, to minimize the side effects of chemo therapy and radiation. That embodies our culture and our commitment to really promoting healthy and happy comfortable survivorship for our patients," she said.

Major advances in prevention, early detection and treatment have resulted in long survival, said Dr. Lisa Mills, Oncologist and Hematologist. She raised awareness of ongoing challenges faced by cancer survivors today.

The follow up care beyond cancer assesses effectiveness of treatment, recovery from treatment and addresses short term and long term side effects along with any new health issues that arise, she said.

She talked about survivor programs and medical management advise to survivors to create long term goals and tools to aide in side effects for fatigue, pain and chemo brain offered through Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center.  

The guests had the opportunity to ask the musicians questions and meet the artists who have their work on exhibit in the Summit Medical Group cafeteria in Berkeley Heights. Artists included in " Voices of the Journey" Art Show are Marion Behr, Scultpor; EJ Davis, Photographer; Trish Gianakis, Painter; and Paula Pearl, Pastel artist. A few attendees went home as winners of pieces of art donated to the survivor event.

About Summit Medical Group MD Anderson: Cancer patients in Northern New Jersey and the New York Metropolitan area now have access to enhanced cancer treatment, as part of Summit Medical Group’s partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center. This integrated program, which provides medical oncology, infusion and diagnostic imaging, is in place at Summit Medical Group’s flagship campus at 1 Diamond Hill Road in Berkeley Heights. It includes access to MD Anderson’s world-renowned treatment protocols, extensive clinical trials and cutting-edge research. Together, Summit Medical Group and MD Anderson are building a state-of-the-art cancer treatment center in Florham Park, NJ. A global leader in cancer care, MD Anderson is ranked the leading cancer center in the United States. You can learn more about MD Anderson at mdanderson.org.

Our partnership provides comprehensive cancer care to our patients—from prevention, screening, and diagnosis to survivorship—preserving the patient-physician relationships that have existed for many years. Personalized treatment plans help ensure the best possible outcomes while we help you adjust to, cope with, and manage your disease.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mountainside

Upcoming Events

Mon, February 19

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_324736565a1e77afd508_inflatbles

Mon, February 19, 11:00 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

President's Day Jump

Giving Back Health & Wellness

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, February 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, February 22, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

Business & Finance

Springfield's Cannon Hall House is Open to Public Sunday, Letter from George Washington and Herbert Hoover will be on Display

February 18, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ – Hit by a cannon ball, it survived the Revolutionary War.  Sunday, there is the Springfield Historical Society Open House at the Cannon Ball House. It will be open to the public from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  

In honor of it being Presidents’ Day weekend, two samples of presidential penmanship will be displayed. One is a letter that George ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Annual Dinner and Tricky Tray Returns to Support Rescue Dogs

February 19, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Guests can win more than 100 prize baskets, enjoy a full-scale Italian-themed dinner, take part in a super 50/50 raffle, and make a tangible difference to thousands of rescue dogs on March 3 as Home for Good Dog Rescue’s annual “Taste of Italy” Spaghetti & Meatballs Dinner and Tricky Tray returns for the ninth consecutive year to the Long Hill ...

Colleen Mahr Is The Leader Our Party Needs

February 13, 2018

Dear Editor:

My name is Patti Murgo. I am Committeewoman in Linden’s Eighth Ward. I am a life-long  DEMOCRAT, a party activist, and a believer in what being a democrat stands for. Last week, I received a piece of literature from our municipal chairman, Nick Scutari, regarding his “plans” for the County Democratic Party if he is elected county chairman.

Mr.