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Cancer Survivors Will Gather to Honor 'The Strength Within'

Network - Summer 2009

By Mary Brolley

Hoda Kotb’s experience with breast cancer in 2007 changed her. “It gave me clarity,” she says. “A sense that life is not to be wasted.”

Even so, after her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, the award-winning broadcast journalist wasn’t sure how much of her journey she wanted to share.

But when a stranger on an airplane urged her to reach out to others with cancer, Kotb was moved. “He said, ‘Don’t hog your journey — use what you’ve learned to help others,’” she recalls. “So I decided to do what I could.”

A “Dateline NBC” correspondent and host of the weekly syndicated series “Your Total Health,” Kotb is the keynote speaker for Anderson Network’s 21st annual Living With, Through and Beyond Cancer Conference, Sept. 10-12.

The conference theme, “The Strength Within,” acknowledges the inner resources and grace cancer patients and survivors like Kotb find essential for their journey and recovery.

You’re invited to join us at the Houston Marriott Westchase to learn more about the issues cancer survivors face, to meet and share with other survivors, to take wellness classes and have fun.

Speakers, breakout sessions, medical panel

Other speakers include M. D. Anderson clinical professor and cancer survivor Martin Raber, M.D., and humorist Charles Petty, Ph.D.

M. D. Anderson President John Mendelsohn, M.D., will lead the popular medical panel on Saturday morning.

Open to all cancer patients, their families and caregivers, the conference includes a breakout session on young breast cancer survivors that will offer a lively panel including oncologists, a nutrition expert, a plastic surgeon and an internist who specializes in cancer patients and fatigue.

A sampling of the nearly two dozen conference breakout sessions includes:

  • Navigating the world of health insurance
  • Dermatology issues
  • Fear of recurrence
  • Young adult survivors
  • Proton therapy
  • Caregiver issues

As always, a number of complementary and integrative modalities are offered by Place ... of wellness. Tai chi, qigong, music therapy, aromatherapy, journaling and safe massage techniques will be offered to participants.

Thanks to M. D. Anderson, conference sponsors and individual donors, the cost of the conference is just $75, which includes all meals, activities and self-parking. Registration is available online until Sept. 4.

For more information or to register, check the conference website or call 713-792-2553 in Houston, 800-345-6324 toll-free.

The Anderson Network, an organization with support and educational services for patients/survivors, their families and caregivers, is a program of the Department of Volunteer Services.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center