“I never win anything!” exclaims Beth*, a five year cancer survivor, referring to the raffle drawings about to take place. “Maybe this year you will!” I reply optimistically. Beth shakes her head, “No, no, I say that every year.” Suddenly she lifts her head and opens her eyes wide. As if she just solved the mystery of black holes, she says, “But you know what, I’m already a winner!”
Winning isn’t easy, especially when your opponent is cancer. That is why every year the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute organizes Survivors’ Day, a celebration for those who have battled – and continue to battle – cancer, and for those who have helped them succeed.
As most people enjoy winning, a party entirely dedicated to such a cause is expected to be joyful. From a single glance into the Zamoski auditorium, one is immediately drawn to the enormous amount of smiles in the room. It’s a collection of pearly and not so pearly whites that somehow manage to overshadow the large and beautifully arranged floral centerpieces.
The room is loud, booming with social activity and laughter. There’s an orchestra of sounds that complement the live band from New Jersey, which is jamming out some jazzy tunes. And though the event required months of planning and preparation, it seems that all in attendance – patients, family, doctors, nurses, administration, volunteers, and donors (Alvin and Lois Lapidus themselves!!!) – truly transformed the event from a great party into a spectacular celebration.
The room becomes silent as the raffles are about to begin. Beth sits between her two beautiful children, gripping onto a small red raffle ticket. Regardless of the numbers on her ticket, Beth has already won.
*Beth is a false name used to protect the identity of this patient.
**Beth did receive a raffle prize, as did every patient thanks to many generous donations provided by local businesses.
-Written by Bella Nadler, Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute, Physician Office Assistant II
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