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Live, Reach, Celebrate at Anderson Network's 20th Anniversary Conference

Network - Summer 2008

Gerald McRaney has played a farmer and a hit man, an old West gunfighter and a corrupt Southern sheriff, as well as his popular TV roles as a private investigator in “Simon and Simon” and a no-nonsense military man with children in “Major Dad.” But the role he recently faced at M. D. Anderson — lung cancer — wasn’t one for which he had studied or auditioned.

However, “Live, Reach, Celebrate,” the theme of this year’s Anderson Network conference for patients and caregivers, were actions he learned early in life. When he injured his knee playing football in junior high, he joined the drama club. And while his path to stardom was a constant challenge, he kept reaching. All this is part of the story he will share with participants at the 20th anniversary Living Fully With and Beyond Cancer Conference, Sept. 4-6, at the Houston Marriott Westchase.

Along with the traditional sampling of complementary and integrative modalities and informational breakout sessions in English, this year’s conference will offer four sessions in Spanish. These will cover cancer and heart disease, diabetes, pain, exercise and relaxation.

For the third year, the event is held in collaboration with the Beth Sanders Moore Young Breast Cancer Survivors’ Program, which will offer a panel of oncologists, nurses and patient advocates to discuss the myriad challenges these young women face.

The traditional medical panel, offering updates on the latest in cancer research, will again be led by M. D. Anderson President John Mendelsohn, M.D.

Closing keynote speaker Ronnie Kaye is a young breast cancer survivor, psychotherapist and author of “Spinning Straw Into Gold,” based on her personal and professional experience.

Besides being filled with a wealth of health information, the conference also has plenty of fun and networking events: a Thursday night mixer and a Friday evening banquet with humorist Jeanne Robertson, a former Miss North Carolina.

Thanks to M. D. Anderson, corporate sponsors and individual donors, the cost is $75 per person for the full conference, $50 for Saturday only. This includes all meals, activities and self-parking.

The conference is open to all cancer patients, regardless of where treatment was received, as well as their families and friends.

The Anderson Network, a patient-to-patient support organization, is a program of the Department of Volunteer Services at M. D. Anderson.

For more information or to register, call 713-792-2553 or log on to the Web site.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center