Did you know that MD Anderson claims more than 200,000 cancer survivors? That doesn't count their caregivers, who by the American Cancer Society's definition, are survivors themselves.
This is a club that none of us ever wanted to join, but we've all found ourselves as members. And, come June 1-8, we'll all be celebrated for this membership as part of Survivorship Week at MD Anderson. There will be all kinds of fun and interesting activities.
If you're in the neighborhood, we hope you'll stop by.
A week full of survivorship events
The week kicks off with an event sponsored by Riders for the Cure. Join these MD Anderson employees and supporters at their annual Ride for Life, which begins at Stubbs Harley-Davidson on Telephone Road. It's a great way to get revved up for the rest of the week.
Beginning on Monday, June 2, you'll feel the survivor spirit when you walk in the doors at MD Anderson.
Purple and green are the colors of the week, and balloon sculptures carry out this atmosphere all over the institution and at the regional care centers in the Bay Area, Sugar Land, Katy and The Woodlands.
New at the Texas Medical Center campus this year are banners with photos and survivor quotes that will be displayed on the skybridge between Mays Clinic and the Main Building and on the Rotary House skybridge.
During Survivorship Week, there are also activities for everyone. Start off in The Park, located in the Main Building on Floor 2 near the gift shop. You'll find lots going on between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Learn to do origami, get some tips on tying a stylish head scarf and capture the moment in a photo booth. You're invited to do all this and more in The Park.
Come to learn about life with and after cancer
You'll have opportunities to learn, too. Sessions on nutrition, attitude as a difference maker, the art of calm, fear of reoccurrence and late effects and survivorship in general are on tap during the week.
Because many cancer survivors report that looking your best has a great effect on how you feel, there are sessions on dealing with appearance issues, too.
There are also plans for just plain fun. Jazz musician Ezra Charles will entertain at the Rotary House on Wednesday evening from 5-7 p.m., and you can join other survivors and their families for a few rounds of bingo on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Rotary House.
Sign up for a free massage and enjoy special musical entertainment in various locations around the institution all week.
The grand finale
Wrap the week up right with a special event, The Art of Cancer Survivorship, presented by Anderson Network. Enjoy a variety of expressive arts workshops, lunch and networking with other survivors and caregivers, but be sure to sign up for this one.