Mercy Philadelphia and Mercy Fitzgerald Hospitals Celebrate Cancer Survivors
West Philadelphia, PA (October 29, 2015) – Mercy Philadelphia Hospital and Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital recently hosted the Annual Celebration of Life Cancer Survivor’s Day Luncheon together on October 25. More than 50 patients who have or are still receiving care from either hospital were honored by members of the Mercy Cancer Care team.
The luncheon began with a prayer service followed by welcoming remarks from the hospitals’ Executive Director Susan Cusack and Mercy Oncologist Dr. Rene Rothstein-Rubin.
“It is an honor for us to celebrate you, the survivors, not only today, but every day,” said Cusack. “You are warriors that motivate us. We are here for you and we thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey.”
“What makes us in this room, in this community, very different is that we are a family,” added Dr. Rubin. “For example, I’ve noticed that when a patient is getting chemotherapy, they’re caring about the patient in the next chair. Our doctors talk to each other multiple times a day to coordinate the care for our patients. We are proud to be a part of this family.”
Sister Mary Joan Smith, manager of Spiritual Care at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, served as keynote speaker while Mercy Oncologist Dr. Michael Rachshtut also addressed the audience. Patients were invited to share their stories of survival and sign a banner that will be hung at the hospital.
All in attendance were moved by the event, including Susan Smith, a food services colleague and member of the Gospel choir at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital. Smith was helping serve lunch, when after being inspired by the speakers, asked to provide an impromptu tribute to her mother who passed away of cancer. Smith gave a rousing a capella performance of the Gospel hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” that, in turn, brought the audience to their feet.
The Patricia Stokes Ensemble, led by Cancer Survivor Patricia Stokes, also provided musical entertainment.
The Annual Celebration of Life luncheon is part of the continuum of care offered through the nationally-accredited Mercy Cancer Care program. The comprehensive cancer care services include education, screenings, prevention, diagnosis, nurse navigation, treatment and survivorship.