Dyker Heights

Maimonides acknowledges cancer survivors at 18th annual gathering

June 14, 2024 Wayne Daren Schneiderman
Cancer survivors showing their awards alongside Maimonides staff. Brooklyn Eagle photos by Arthur De Gaeta
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DYKER HEIGHTS —  Maimonides Health hosted its 18th annual Cancer Survivors Day event on June 11 before an audience of more than 300 at the Dyker Beach Golf Course on 86th Street. 

In recognition of National Cancer Survivors Day on June 2, this event was a significant tribute to the strength and resilience of cancer survivors who have been treated at Maimonides Cancer Center (MCC). 

Dr. Jessica Torrente, director of the division of breast imaging and X-ray radiology, alongside Dr. Patrick Borgen, chair of the department of surgery and director of Maimonides Breast Center.
Dr. Jessica Torrente, director of the division of breast imaging and X-ray radiology, alongside Dr. Patrick Borgen, chair of the department of surgery and director of Maimonides Breast Center.

Current patients, their families and caretakers who have supported them throughout their journey, along with several Maimonides cancer staff, were all in attendance and treated to a glorious and celebratory day filled with food, entertainment, and music (featuring the Mazel Tov Cocktail Band, led by Dr. Patrick Borgen, chair of surgery at the hospital).  

Speakers included Kenneth Gibbs, president and CEO of Maimonides Health, and Kevin Becker, division chief of hematology and medical oncology at MCC.

Guests smiling for the camera.
Guests smiling for the camera.

Four cancer survivors were acknowledged: pediatric cancer survivor Ashley Pardieu, breast cancer survivor Jocelyn Matheson, lung cancer survivor Anne Voorhies and colon cancer survivor Ann Margaret DeAngelis.

Pardieu said she is truly thankful for the support she received from her mother, husband and the Maimonides doctors and nurses.

“They made the treatment that much more bearable,” she explained. “I didn’t feel like a number or a statistic; I felt like I was with family. I also learned that it’s possible not only to survive but to thrive.” 

Pediatric cancer survivor Ashley Pardieu.
Pediatric cancer survivor Ashley Pardieu.

“It is a gift for us to be here with all of you,” said Kenneth Gibbs, president and CEO of Maimonides Health. “You may have gotten that cancer diagnosis, but you are surviving. Feel the joy, and recognize that for our institution and the work we do, there is no greater gift than being with the people we work with as they show us their spirit of survival.”  

Kevin Becker, division chief of hematology and medical oncology at MCC, said that it’s a beautiful thing to see talented people working with such drive to make cancer survivable and days like this possible.

Breast cancer survivor Jocelyn Matheson.
Breast cancer survivor Jocelyn Matheson.

“Today is about our cancer survivors,” Becker noted. “Thank you for trusting us, and thank you for inspiring and motivating us. It’s an incredible team we have here at the cancer center, from the guys parking the cars in the lots to the front desk staff and schedulers, the nurses, the social workers, pharmacists and all of our doctors.”  

Dr. Jessica Torrente, director of the breast imaging and X-ray radiology division, stressed the importance of preventative medicine. 

Maimonides Cancer Survivors Day was held before a crowd of more than 300.
Maimonides Cancer Survivors Day was held before a crowd of more than 300.

“Early detection through screening, whether colon, breast or prostate cancer, is important because the earlier we can catch something, the better and the easier it will be to cure,” Torrente said. 

MCC is a nationally accredited, award-winning cancer center home to New York’s top cancer specialists, with a breast center, breast imaging center and prostate center offering the latest minimally invasive approaches. Accredited by the Commission on Cancer, MCC is an American College of Surgeons quality program.

A member of the Mazel Tov Cocktail Band rocking out.
A member of the Mazel Tov Cocktail Band rocking out.


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