John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center Hosting Largest Celebrating Life and Liberty Event Ever Thousands of Cancer Survivors Share their Stories to Inspire Others

Sunday, September 18 at Liberty State Park

HACKENSACK, N.J., Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the nation's top 50 hospitals for cancer, will host its largest Celebrating Life and Liberty event ever on Sunday, September 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Liberty State Park, NJ. During this extraordinary event survivors will share their stories of challenge and triumph, inspiring others to take action for their own well-being.  

"This is an unparalleled kind of celebration when you consider the magnitude of courage and perseverance it's honoring," said Robert C. Garrett, President and Chief Executive Officer at Hackensack University Medical Center.  "The Life and Liberty Event is a chance for patients of all age, gender and race to join the John Theurer Cancer Center in a display of hope as we continue to battle cancer's unforgiving nature.  I look forward to shaking the hands of so many heroic survivors at Liberty State Park."

This is the third annual Celebrating Life and Liberty event hosted by the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. The celebration was initially conceived by Andre Goy, M.D., M.S., Chairman and Director and Chief of Lymphoma, John Theurer Cancer Center to serve as an important reminder that just like the 12 million immigrants who passed through Ellis Island, another 12 million face an equally long and hard journey – cancer.

"While each cancer survivor has their own unique experience they share a common bond. Bringing together thousands of cancer survivors and their families creates a community that we hope will give our patients more strength wherever they may be in this journey," said Dr. Goy. "They understand each other, are inspired by each other and support each other through their common experiences—this is what makes this a truly special celebration."

Shared storytelling has been shown by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to improve health outcomes by influencing prevention and promoting healthy changes in lifestyle after early diagnosis, providing social connections to support prevention and control, supporting informed decision making, and helping to meet the many emotional needs surrounding the stressful times of diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship in ways that help those affected by cancer improve the length and quality of their lives.

"Extraordinary care doesn't just happen when our patients are within the four walls of our hospital– we begin with prevention and continue after treatment into healthy survivorship," said Andrew Pecora, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.P.E., Chief Innovations Officer and Professor and Vice President of Cancer Services, John Theurer Cancer Center. "Last year more than 1,500 people attended and a record number of our patients are expected to join us this year for an even larger celebration."

This year's event has been extended to all John Theurer Cancer Center, Tomorrows Children's Institute and Hackensack University Medical Center affiliates' patients, their caregivers and the dedicated healthcare staff who have played important roles in their journeys. John Theurer Cancer Center is also extending the event to all survivors and caregivers in the tri-state area.  

John Theurer Cancer Center is also asking the 2.3 million people with cancer online to join by following live @JTCancerCenter Twitter updates and liking the JTCancerCenter group page as well as using #LifeLiberty when sharing their stories of survivorship to inspire others.  

"All communities throughout the world are touched by cancer. We are inviting them to join our celebration wherever they are," said Dr. Goy. "Starting with one survivor's story inspiring another person and another - all around the world - we can make a difference in our fight against cancer."

Celebrating Life and Liberty will also provide a focus on special populations with cancer for whom clinical research, treatment and outcomes have not kept pace with other groups of patients, including young adults and the LGBT community, African American and Latin American communities.

Live music by The Infernos, dancing, and inspirational performances by John Theurer Cancer Center survivors will pack the day with fun.  Celebrating Life & Liberty attendees can explore a wide-range of interactive workshops and activities for adults and children, such as Statue of Liberty drawing, Laughter Yoga, Hand Massage, Feldenkrais, quilting and guest photography with the Statue of Liberty.

This free event is made possible through the generosity of sponsors, including Hackensack University Medical Center, as well as a variety of donations including financial support, services, event supplies, and raffle items. For sponsorship opportunities and other donations contact Laura Long at llong@humed.com or 201-996-3663. Registration is required by Friday, September 9 through online registration or calling 201-996-3252. For more information and updates visit jtcancercenter.org.

About Celebrating Life and Liberty

Founded in 2009, the John Theurer Cancer Center invites all their patients and their families every year to celebrate Life and Liberty with the ultimate symbol of freedom – the Statue of Liberty. The event serves as an important reminder that just like the 12 million immigrants who passed through Ellis Island, another 12 million face an equally long and hard journey – cancer.

About John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is among the nation's top 50 U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals for cancer – the only Cancer Center in New Jersey with this prestigious designation. The 14 specialized divisions cover the complete spectrum of cancer care with a specialized team of medical, surgical, research, nursing, and support staff.

Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to the John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. In January 2011, the John Theurer Cancer Center began providing care in a new 155,000-square-foot building that enhances the Cancer Center's ability to deliver multidisciplinary extraordinary care, best-in-class clinical quality, and cutting-edge research. For more information please go to jtcancercenter.org.

SOURCE Hackensack University Medical Center



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