Christina Parrish, a pancreatic cancer survivor from Brewer, ME, joined more than 100 other five-year cancer survivors for an emotional and momentous tree planting ceremony at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern) on June 7. The annual Celebrate Life® event is an inspirational and extraordinary celebration of cancer survivorship. Parrish and survivors representing 44 states gathered for the memorable event to celebrate the milestone and to support one another as they continue their cancer survivorship journey.
The annual commemorative tree planting ceremony symbolizes the wonder of life and growth. The 2013 Celebrate Life event marks the 25th year that a tree has been planted in honor of each five-year survivor, providing the nation with a thriving forest of life giving trees representing cancer survivorship. Participants were joined by doctors, hospital administrators, clinical team members, caregivers, family members and members of the local community who attended in a show of support. During the ceremony, celebrants also collectively released five white doves representing each year of cancer-fighting survival while receiving treatment at CTCA.
Parrish sought treatment at CTCA at Midwestern after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008. “When I arrived, I didn’t get the run around, which I did not want.” They said “Here’s what we can do for you, and we can get started today” said Parrish. “My medical oncologist, Robert Levin, MD and his team went right to the business of treating me.”
The 2013 Celebrate Life event at CTCA at Midwestern also included a red carpet reception and luncheon with delicious gourmet offerings of natural and organic foods prepared by the culinary team from the Wholesome Bistro, the CTCA in-hospital restaurant.
Before the day concluded, many of the five-year survivors took time to walk through the hospital to offer comfort and support to other patients and family members, inspiring all. Each celebrant was also honored with an engraved gold leaf which is proudly displayed on the ever growing tree of life located at the entrance of the hospital.
“Each and every day is a celebration of life and survivorship,” said Scott Jones, president and CEO at CTCA at Midwestern. “At Cancer Treatment Centers of America everything, from our patient centered personalized treatment to our integrated therapies and supportive services, is orchestrated around the patient and their family. Patients and their families that are facing cancer choose us, and we stand side-by-side, hand-in-hand with them throughout their journey.”
About Cancer Treatment Centers of America®
Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Inc. (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals focusing on complex and advanced stage cancer. CTCA offers a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to cancer treatment and serves patients from all 50 states at facilities located in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa. Known for delivering the Mother Standard® of care and Patient Empowerment Medicine®, CTCA provides patients with information about cancer and their treatment options so they can control their treatment decisions. For more information about CTCA, go to www.cancercenter.com.