Leonardtown, Maryland – National Cancer Survivors Day® is Sunday, June 7, 2015. This unique celebration will mark the 28th annual National Cancer Survivors Day®. Thousands of people in hundreds of communities across the globe will hold celebrations on this day to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding, and even inspiring.

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s (MSMH) Cancer Care Infusion Services (CCIS) is hosting a picnic on Sunday, June 7, at 1:00 p.m. to commemorate National Cancer Survivors Day®, and you’re invited! The event will feature a home-style Southern-cooked lunch, entertainment, and inspirational speakers.

“Come see how life after cancer is more than just surviving. It can be beautiful, abundant, and fulfilling. And that’s something to celebrate,” says Joan Popielski, CCIS Director. “You will find our community’s National Cancer Survivors Day® celebration filled with joy, hope, camaraderie, and compassion as we acknowledge our community’s cancer survivors – including those who currently live with cancer. The picnic will recognize the contributions of patient’s families, friends, and healthcare providers as well as raise awareness of the ongoing challenges faced by cancer survivors today.”

This local event is part of a worldwide celebration coordinated by the National Cancer Survivors Day® Foundation and supported nationally by Coping® with Cancer magazine. Anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life – is a cancer survivor, according to the National Cancer Survivors Day® Foundation. In the United States alone, there are more than 14 million people living with a history of cancer.

Major advances in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment have resulted in longer survival, and therefore, a growing number of cancer survivors. However, a cancer diagnosis can leave a host of problems in its wake. Physical, financial, and emotional hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Survivors may face many challenges, such as limited access to cancer specialists and promising new treatments, inadequate or no health insurance, financial hardships, difficulty finding employment, psychosocial struggles, and a lack of understanding from family and friends. In light of these difficulties, our community needs to focus on improving the quality of life for cancer survivors.
“Despite the numerous challenges they face, cancer survivors live full, productive lives and serve as an inspiration to all of us,” says Joan. “It’s time for our community to stand with them and help find ways to lessen the burdens a cancer diagnosis brings.”

Our hospital offers several programs for cancer patients, their family members and friends.  The Cancer Support Group is a free group facilitated by associates from the hospital’s CCIS and Case Management departments. Support group meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the conference room on the second floor of the hospital’s Outpatient Pavilion. 

This year’s local National Cancer Survivors Day® Celebration of Life will be held in Leonardtown, Maryland:

WHERE: MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Parking Lot
WHEN:  June 7, 2015, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

For information on the National Cancer Survivors’ Day picnic or to register for programs for cancer patients, contact Nina Ellis-Hayes, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, Cancer Care Infusion Services at nina.ellis-hayes@medstar.net or call 240-434-7247 / 301-475-6070.