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On the Town: Cancer survivors and their doctors celebrated

June 30, 2010|By Ruth Sowby

Cancer Survivor Day was celebrated as "Life is a Dance" at Glendale Adventist Medical Center on Friday with a healthy roasted-chicken lunch and a decadent fruit tart for dessert. Keynote speaker Chris Erskine regaled his audience with the home-spun humor found in his "Man in the House" Los Angeles Times column. More than 200 cancer survivors, their families, hospital oncologists and administrators present also got a dose of sobriety when Erskine described his father's battle with cancer.

Referring to the 9.8 million cancer survivors in the U.S., Glendale Adventist President/Chief Executive Morre Dean said, "We want to add to that number."

Dean introduced two doctors from the hospital who are, indeed, adding to the number of survivors — Radiation oncologist Sara Kim and Cancer Committee Chairman Boris Bagdasarian. They spoke of the strides Glendale Adventist has made in cancer prevention and treatment.

But it was the can-do spirit of the canDancers, all cancer survivors, that brought down the house. Dance instructor Arlene Vidor put her dancers through their paces to the delight of the crowd. Among those adding some twinkle to their Terpsichore were Glendale residents Julietta Narinian, Arsinee Geurdjelian, Sandy Saaed and Carmen Banawa from Los Angeles.

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Honored during the Flame of Hope Award Ceremony were "Bras for a Cause" creator Kathy Lefkovits for philanthropy and Filor Izanian for community service. Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman, who survived breast cancer, was also recognized.

To close the program, Cancer Services Director Melina Thorpe, herself a cancer survivor, introduced all the survivors in the audience as Pamlyn King sang "On the Wings of Eagles." There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

What better way to celebrate a balmy summer night at twilight than to imbibe responsibly at the Wine Cave in Montrose. The Verdugo Mental Health Foundation invited about 75 guests to do just that on June 23. The party recognized the foundation's major donor organizations — Las Candelas, Oakmont League and National Charity League Juniors of Glendale.

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