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CTCA dedicates former main lobby to Cancer Fighters

Source: Zion Benton News

Author: by Sandy Dickson

Published: August 14, 2014

On Friday, July 25, Rose Sajuan, an 18-year breast cancer survivor from Waukegan officially cut the ribbon at the  of the newly created Cancer Fighter area located within Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center.

Rose was joined by a happy crowd of patients, caregivers and hospital team members. 

The Cancer Fighters group started over 20 years ago and concentrates on providing support and guidance to patients, helping them find solace in their of emotional and physical journey.    

The newly designated area for Cancer Fighters provides a connection place for cancer patients and anyone who has had a significant change in their lives because of the experience they’ve been through.

Here, literature can be found for fighting cancer, as well as people knowledgeable and supportive in the journey of cancer patients, many with their own first-hand experience.

At the time of this dedicated space, there were 8,392 Cancer Fighters at Midwestern Regional Medical Center.

The atrium lobby had long been considered the main entrance to the hospital until recent construction began to make way for a new six-story structure to contain both in-patient rooms as well as caregivers’ guest quarters. The main lobby is now on the west side of the hospital until the new addition is complete, which is projected for completion in November 2015.

President and CEO of CTCA at Midwestern, Scott Jones led the ribbon cutting, noting that cancer patients have a desire to help other cancer patients, and seek to do so even after their own triumph through cancer. Such a space dedicated to Cancer Fighters helps facilitate this process.

Jones then introduced Dr. Chris Stephenson, son of Founder and Chairman of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Richard J Stephenson, Jones explained that both the new inpatient tower, which is  currently under construction and the atrium lobby becoming a sanctuary for Cancer Fighters was one of the visions of Dr. Stephenson.

Dr. Stephenson said that when we’re faced with daunting tasks; challenges that we didn’t imagine and hardships we couldn’t have thought would ever occur in our lives, we need to be able to reach across to someone that can help us share that load.

A life of service is a life worth leading and leaving a legacy behind you of the lives you’ve touched is what life is all about. For some of us who have had this experience thrust into our lifespan, it may have been a turning point.

Life may have had a different direction before cancer struck. Things that used to be important take on different meaning. The relationships that kept you alive began to matter.

You got through the experience and you want to share that with other people, helping them delay their fears and become stewards of their own families and a better life. In light of all that, it became apparent to us many years ago that if we could share the burdens of others, it is a better life to have led.

“This space is dedicated to community, to connections, and to creating for each one of you, an outlet and outreached; a place for building a greater semblance of who you are.

At the end of the day, God will call each one of us home, and an accounting of what our lives meant—what did we do, whose lives did we touch? So here’s your chance to continue to build your life’s purpose, another chance to build community and that within yourself and go forward with God’s message and purpose for you…”

Sajuan, spoke of the value Cancer Fighters has been to her, and now travels around the country speaking to various groups about her survivorship.