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Five-Year Cancer Survivor from Schaumburg Celebrates Life with more than 100 Fellow Survivors

Source: Chicago Tribune

Author: Community Contributor

Published: June 10, 2014

Jeffery Harris, a tonsil cancer survivor from Schaumburg, Illinois, joined more than 100 five-year cancer survivors on Friday, June 6, for an emotional and momentous walk down a red carpet lined with hundreds of cheering family, friends, caregivers and hospital care team members, to celebrate five years of cancer survivorship. Harris also took part in a tree planting ceremony, symbolizing the wonder of life and growth. The activities were all part of the annual Celebrate Life® event held at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA®) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern), a time for cancer survivors to come together to rejoice in their personal milestones and to support one another as they continue their cancer survivorship journey.

The 2014 Celebrate Life event marks the 26th year that a tree has been planted in honor of each five-year survivor, providing the nation with a thriving forest of life-giving trees representing cancer survivorship. Participants honored represented 41 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island, each offering support and strength to others, as they proudly posed for a photo in front of their commemorative tree.

"In the past five years, I have spent time with my family, and have had a grandson come into my life," said Jeffery. "I was thankful before this happened, and I am equally grateful now. I am going to go on with my life and put cancer behind me."

Before the day concluded, many of the five-year survivors took time to walk through the hospital to offer comfort and support to other patients and family members who are battling cancer.

 "I am continually humbled and amazed at the strength, resilience and fortitude of our patients and their caregivers," said Scott Jones, president and CEO of CTCA at Midwestern. "At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, our goal is to surround each patient with a Patient Empowered Care team delivering integrative, evidence based care throughout their journey so they can Celebrate Life every day."

For more information on Celebrate Life or CTCA at Midwestern please visit: www.cancercenter.com/midwestern.

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