Former MLB player Dave Dravecky to Headline Cancer Survivorship Conference Sept. 16-17

Former MLB player Dave Dravecky to Headline Cancer Survivorship Conference Sept. 16-17

MD Anderson News Release 06/14/11

Giants pitcher who lost his arm to cancer to deliver empowering message

HOUSTON - Famous for a remarkable comeback after cancer surgery and treatment in the late 1980s, former San Francisco Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky will headline The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s 23rd annual Anderson Network Cancer Survivorship Conference Sept. 16-17 at the Omni Westside, 13210 Katy Freeway in Houston.

In Dravecky’s second game, just 10 months after surgery to remove a desmoid tumor in his pitching arm, he suffered a devastating injury in front of thousands of fans.

The arm was eventually amputated.

In the aftermath, he dealt with anger, clinical depression and a loss of identity. But 20 years later, Dravecky has turned his talents and passion to encouraging others.

His message – “Don’t deny the impact your life can have on others” – will kick off the conference, which is open to all those who want to learn more about the issues cancer survivors face, meet and share with other survivors, take wellness classes and have fun.

Thanks to MD Anderson, sponsors and individual donors, the cost of the conference is just $50 for early registrants, which includes all meals, activities and self-parking.

Registration is available online at until Sept. 9. After that, participants may pay $60 at the door on the day of the conference.

Speakers, breakout sessions, medical panel
The conference includes two dozen informative breakout sessions, including:
• issues of young adult survivors,
• depression and cancer,
• the benefits and dangers of vitamin supplements,
• sleep issues and cancer,
• living with metastatic disease,
• treatment of advanced melanoma, and  
• improving outcomes with comprehensive lifestyle change.

The popular medical panel includes MD Anderson’s Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., provost and executive vice president; Robert Bast Jr., M.D., vice president of Translational Research; and Funda Meric-Bernstam, M.D., professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology.

Soprano Barbara Padilla, runner-up in “America’s Got Talent,” will provide entertainment at the banquet on Sept. 16.

Other keynote speakers are chef and “Next Food Network Star” finalist Hans Rueffert and mountain climber Sean Swarner – both cancer survivors.

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. 06/14/2011