Debra Madden is happy to speak at length about her role as a patient advocate. She is well educated on her subject, thoughtful, and passionate as she discusses the honor of representing the voices of patients, as a member of numerous regional and national panels addressing cancer research. The Newtown resident is a two-time survivor of cancer, and since her first diagnosis at the age of 22 in 1987, she has pursued a goal of making medical information accessible and understandable to patients.
On Saturday, June 29, the Connecticut Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Danbury Moose Lodge No. 1373 will host the second annual Family Fun Day Celebration for Community Cancer Survivors and their families. The event will be at Danbury Moose Family Center, from 1 to 5 pm. There will be carnival themed games, food, live entertainment, children’s activities, swimming and raffles. Cancer survivors and children under 5 years old are admitted free. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person, or $15 for families of four. Proceeds will benefit LLS and its mission of curing blood cancers and improving the quality of life of patients and their families.
“This brings us back to why we’re here. We’re here to take care of our residents,” Jackie Murillo said of the new “Walking To The Beat” program that began April 26. Ms Murillo is the director of nursing at Masonicare at Newtown.
Nearly 400 breakfast diners gathered at the Waterview in Monroe, Wednesday, June 12, for the 24th Annual Newtown Chapter Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut Summer Breakfast fundraiser, a number that pleased Co-chairman Marg Studley. “It’s a good turnout,” said Ms Studley, as she greeted guests and, along with Marie Sturdevant, finalized details of the hourlong program that began at 8 am.
Newtown’s neighbors to the west will be holding a special Newtown Lap during their Relay For Life event this weekend. Relay for Life of Bethel, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9, at Bethel High School, will honor Newtown cancer survivors, patients and caregivers with a special lap at 5 pm Saturday. Bethel’s Relay will have its Opening Ceremony at 4 pm (including the Survivors Lap at 4:20), Luminaria Ceremony at 9 pm, and Fight Back Ceremony at 11 pm. Registration is not required for those who would like to participate in the Newtown Lap, said American Cancer Society representative Rob Gerowe.
Dr Melissa Bonasera and Newtown Leadership Institute, together with Building Newtowns (formerly Healing 4 Newtown), invite residents to participate in a special session with Steve Linder on Saturday, June 8. Sessions will run all day in Newtown High School Lecture Hall, 12 Berkshire Road. Mr Linder has dedicated his life to using and developing skills and strategies so that people can experience a life that is better than they ever thought possible, through their own choice and control.
Lions Clubs across the nation and here in Newtown are known for their support of community service programs as well as their commitment to helping protect and preserve sight. But in the wake of 12/14, the Newtown Lions also exhibited foresight by establishing The Newtown Lions Club Foundation Inc./Sandy Hook Elementary Fund, or SHEF, which helps residents, regardless of their economic situation, to cover the cost of mental health counseling sessions and co-pays. SHEF recently reached a milestone: Checks totaling just over $60,000 have been written to cover counseling fees.
Newtown resident Nick Ortner has written a book he believes can help empower the community, and be a tool to move forward through the trauma of 12/14.
The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System For Stress-Free Living was released April 2, 2013, by Hay House, Inc Publishing, and has spent the past three weeks in either the number five or six spot on The New York Times “Advice” Bestsellers list.
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism had extended the application deadline for the Joey’s Fund Family Grant Program. Applications are now being accepted until June 14, 2013, for the fund, which was set up in honor of Josephine (Joey) Gay, one of the victims of 12/14. Joey's Fund Family Grant Program provides grants to families in Connecticut that need financial assistance for their family member living with autism.
While Newtown’s 10th Anniversary Relay for Life is postponed to 2014, organizers felt strongly about honoring all local cancer survivors and caregivers this year. So Relay organizers and volunteers invite all local survivors and caregivers to a Hope Reception and Ice Cream Social on Sunday June 2 at Rock Ridge Country Club, 214 Sugar Street, from 2:30 - 4:30 pm.
The event coincides with National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD), when thousands around the world will gather to observe the 26th annual celebration. Newtown will be among hundreds of communities across the US and abroad holding such celebrations to honor cancer survivors and show that there is life after a cancer diagnosis.