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Cancer survivors tell their tales

August 05, 2011|By Ruth Sowby
  • Enjoying the recognition at Glendale Memorial's Cancer Survivor Celebration are, from left, Glendale residents Flo Stafford, Col. Nancy Sumner and cancer survivor Roy Stafford. (Photo by Ruth Sowby)
Enjoying the recognition at Glendale Memorial's…

The joint was jumpin’ as Glendale Memorial Hospital hosted its 15th Annual tribute to cancer survivors. It was a “Star Spangled Salute” to more than 110 community members and their guests who have played a role in the fight against cancer. On July 28, the cul-de-sac circle on Eulalia Street, in front of the Glendale Memorial Cancer Center, was the colorful setting. The Marcia Ray Breast Center also played host. Its staff, supervised by Maryann Robertson, helped hang lanterns, flags and posters of the stars and strips to represent the evening’s patriotic, USO theme. Robertson also organized the event.

National Guard Col. Nancy Sumner led the pledge of allegiance. Sumner, in full Guard uniform, is an emergency nurse who has been at the hospital for 35 years and in the National Guard for 28 years. Sumner is Commander of the 146 Medical Group on the Channel Islands. “I get to be the boss of all the doctors,” said Sumner.

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But it was Glendale Mayor Laura Friedman who brought down the house. Friedman was diagnosed with breast cancer at Glendale Memorial in 2006. She listed her “top 10 reasons to be glad you have cancer.” One of those — ”Men in white coats are groping your breasts and you’re OK with that.”

Also recognized were the cancer survivors and their years of recovery. Joyce Woodruff has been a breast cancer for 32 years. Carla Shaw-de Heras was 19 years old when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She now has beaten the disease for 26 years. De Heras was accompanied by her mother, Barbara Shaw, also a cancer survivor and currently a patient at Glendale Memorial.

Oncology unit Director and Registered Nurse Elaine Ramirez was presented with the Donald L. Bogdon Cancer Survivor Award. Although not a cancer survivor herself, Ramirez has distinguished herself in the fight against cancer. She began at the hospital in 1994 as night shift supervisor.

As a salute to the evening’s patriotic theme, the program ended with an interactive musical show by Andrews Sisters sound-alikes The Sentimental Sisters.

Another Glendale hospital was the setting for a different kind of party. On July 29, the staff at Verdugo Hills Hospital celebrated the 100th birthday of major donor Dr. August Giraldi. He was also recognized for his stewardship activity, including his contribution of $25,000 for Bariatric chairs and unrestricted funds to the hospital.

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