Susan Emmerich of Auburn Hills, MI Celebrates Five Years of Cancer Survivorship
On Friday, June 8, 2012, 80 five-year cancer survivors from around the country were greeting by a 40 ft walk down a red carpet as they celebrated their triumph when they attended Celebrate Life® 2012 at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern) -- an inspirational and extraordinary celebration of five years of cancer survivorship.
Susan Emmerich, breast cancer survivor from Auburn Hills, MI was one of the 80 survivors from around the nation that attended the event joined by doctors, hospital administrators, clinical team members, caregivers and family members and members of the local community for a tree-planting ceremony, a reception and luncheon, and a Celebrate Life 2012 Survivorship Ceremony.
Survivors were joined by CTCA Celebrate Life revelers and participated in a commemorative tree planting ceremony, which symbolizes the wonder of life and growth. Today marks the 24th year a tree has been planted in honor of each five-year survivor, providing Lake County, Illinois a thriving forest of trees representing cancer survivorship.
During the ceremony, celebrants released five white doves representing each year of cancer-fighting survival while treating at CTCA at Midwestern.
The celebrants’ luncheon included delicious gourmet offerings of natural and organic foods, all of which were prepared by the culinary team from the Wholesome Bistro – the CTCA in-hospital restaurant. Many of the menu items came directly from the CTCA-created Wholesome Temptation cookbook, which offers cancer patients delicious, all-natural, easy-to-prepare recipes categorized by common cancer treatment symptoms such as taste changes, weight loss, sore mouth and digestive challenges.
All five-year survivors were honored on stage in front of family and guests for their exceptional courage, strength and determination.
Emmerich discovered that she had breast cancer on March 11, 2000. “I remember that day well,” she says. “My faith, family and close friends kept me standing during this unbearable time in my life.” In the meantime, her “secret lump” continued to grow.
In 2007, Susan’s nutritionist received a letter from CTCA at Midwestern. “She suggested that I give them a call,” said Emmerich. Within a few days, she was on a plane to CTCA at Midwestern for an initial evaluation. “After meeting with my team of professionals, my confidence began to grow,” she said. “We had a plan for my future health.”
Two weeks later she was back at CTCA at Midwestern to begin her fight with Dennis Citrin, MD, Medical Oncologist by her side.
“The journey to healing and health is sometimes long and challenging,” says Emmerich. “However, when a patient is treated like a person and immersed with faith, love and the best treatment available – the patient is the winner!”
“At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, cancer patients and their families benefit from a fully integrated, personalized cancer treatment experience called Patient Empowered Care®, which includes state-of the art treatment protocols and complementary therapies delivered by an Empowerment Team of cancer experts,” said Anne Meisner, president and CEO at CTCA at Midwestern. “We empower our patients to take control of their cancer, and we treat each patient as though they are a member of our own family. It is our honor to share in and celebrate their survivorship journey,” she added.