Friday, May 15, 2009

The one hundred announced

Planting hope: With the help of a pediatric patient, Faherty plants a flower to commemorate the one hundred.

Exactly 100 flowers were planted in the Howard Ufelder, MD, Healing Garden April 28 to recognize the newly announced members of the one hundred – 100 groups and individuals who are making a difference in cancer care. Now in its second year, the one hundred celebration recognizes researchers, donors, volunteers, advocates and philanthropists, including members of the MGH Cancer Center. Honorees are nominated by peers, colleagues, patients and family members, and are selected by a committee.

The April 28 event marked the official release of the names of this year’s honorees. Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, director of the MGH Cancer Center, welcomed attendees and introduced the day’s special guests. “The very concept of the one hundred exemplifies the fact that it takes a team to find cures and improve the lives of patients with cancer,” said Haber.

Kelley Tuthill, a WCVB-TV news anchor and one of this year’s one hundred inductees spoke at the event. A breast cancer survivor and former Cancer Center patient, Tuthill had shared her journey from diagnosis to recovery as it was happening through an online diary and video segments. Her story helped raise awareness and brought hope to many others like her.

“I am proud to be associated with the MGH Cancer Center,” she said. She recalled arriving at the Cancer Center to meet with a surgeon, feeling scared and anxious. A staff member warmly greeted her in the waiting room and said she had heard Tuthill had children. The MGHer offered Tuthill reading material on parenting during such a difficult time. “It’s those little special touches that make a difference and mark the MGH Cancer Center as the amazing institution that it is,” Tuthill said.

Robert Faherty, former Boston Police Department (BPD) superintendent-in-chief and chairman of Cops for Kids with Cancer (CFKWC), also spoke. Founded by retired BPD captain John Dow, CFKWC raises funds for and offers support to families with children affected by cancer. Last year, the organization donated $50,000 to ten families. The group’s contributions to patients and their families have earned it a place among this year’s one hundred. “We are honored to be here and be part of the one hundred,” said Faherty.

Following his remarks, Faherty planted a flower in the Healing Garden with the help of pediatric patient Nicholas DeFilice.

“The one hundred represents those who have inspired and moved us and whose efforts have had a real impact on the lives of patients with cancer,” said Haber. “And next year, they will be followed by another one hundred, and so on every year, until cancer is no longer the threat that it is today.”

The one hundred will be honored at a reception and dinner June 3. Honoree Elizabeth Edwards – breast cancer survivor, author, attorney and wife of former U.S. Senator John Edwards – will be the featured speaker.

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