With all the talk of tomorrow’s better cancer treatments, it’s important occasionally to remember that millions of people have been treated with successfully with today’s – and yesterday’s – medicine. For someone newly diagnosed with cancer, it’s inspiring to hear the stories of those who have fought the disease and survived, a helpful dose of optimism in a trying time. Two weeks ago, a ballroom at the Westin Hotel in Chicago was filled with such stories, from people who have survived as long as 43 years after the diagnosis of cancer.
The 20th annual Cancer Survivors Day brought together over 100 patients and their families for a day of food and fun. Speakers included Leslie Wallene Yang, a gastroenterologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center who is herself a cancer survivor, and Marcia Wallace, the voice of Bart’s teacher Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons. And the bawdy blues tunes of Lynne Jordan & the Shivers proved that cancer survivors can get down like the rest of them (seriously, check out the disco moves on the woman at 4:35!). Here’s our video of the event, shot by John Easton and edited by yours truly.