FLINT — Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute (GHCI) hosted a celebration of more than 200 cancer survivors Aug. 15 at the Flint Institute of Arts (FIA).
“We are celebrating the thousands of cancer survivors in our community who successfully have fought this disease,” announces Sue Root, director of Quality of Life at GHCI, who organized the event. “It truly is a gathering of support, inspiration and happiness.
“There is never a bad day to celebrate beating cancer; in fact, most patients celebrate every single day. But our celebration is a time for cancer survivors and their loved ones to stand united in support of one another, to feel empowered and encouraged when looking into the future. It is very heartwarming to see so many survivors in one place, sharing their stories and enjoying their cancerfree life.”
Paul Kocheril, MD, GHCI medical director and radiation oncologist at the center, also shared a few thoughts at the celebration. “Cancer treatments aren’t perfect, but the good news is five-year survival rates nationally have gone up. Two thirds of patients diagnosed with cancer survive at least five years. And there’s more good news: cancer deaths have declined 27 percent over the past 25 years.
“We look to survivors for strength in the midst of adversity; we look to you for inspiration. We salute you, we applaud you, and we thank you for your courage.”
Pat Gruener of Clio, a GHCI volunteer and cancer survivor, also spoke at the celebration. She began her cancer journey in May 2018 when “my life was put on hold,” she describes. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, her calendar was full of activities – from golf to travel to family events – but, suddenly it was erased and replaced with doctor appointments and treatments.
“I felt at home immediately,” she says about Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute. “I was so well taken care of.”
The night of the celebration, Gruener announced that her last treatment was completed, and she was in remission. “Now I can start filling my calendar again with the things I love to do.
“Cancer is lifechanging physically, emotionally and spiritually, but it encourages new relationships with new friends who will support each other for a lifetime. Keeping spirits up is such an important part of recovery. I’m so grateful for my Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute family,” Gruener says with a huge smile that never quit the entire evening.
The event included entertainment by StoweGood, a musical duo who perform uplifting music and share inspirational messages.
Genesys and Hurley cancer survivors, along with a guest, were invited to the free event.
To learn more about the services of Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute, go to www.GHCI.org or call the institute at 810-762-8226.
The Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute continues to provide the most advanced cancer treatment services, technologies and programs available in one convenient, closeto home location.
From aggressive prevention programs and early detection services to the application of leadingedge diagnostics and treatment techniques, Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute infuses hope into the heart of our community.