Bassett Cancer Institute Honors Cancer Survivors in a Drive-Through Event
On June 6, the Bassett Cancer Institute (BCI) observed National Cancer Survivors Day in a drive-through event at Hartwick Seminary Specialty Services in Milford. Cancer survivors received warm greetings and gift bags from BCI staff and volunteers. Participants included survivors who received treatment at clinics throughout the Bassett Healthcare Network and beyond.
"Our patients are appreciative of what we do for them," says Breanna Ostrander, MPA, CPC-A, who planned the event. "But really we feel it's an honor to care for them during this difficult time. It's important to celebrate their life and give back to them in some way."
This year's event was different from Bassett's past survivor celebrations. Plans for the traditional luncheon at Cooperstown's Otesaga Resort Hotel were set aside due to the pandemic. But after all the in-person activities were canceled in 2020, the socially distanced drive-through was the next best thing.
"Both survivors and Cancer Institute staff look forward to this event every year," says Ostrander. "Caring for patients through a tough diagnosis makes us a tight-knit family. This annual event is a chance to see each other and catch up."
The gift bags contained an assortment of goodies: pins, keychains, flower seeds, stress balls, hand sanitizer, snacks, sunscreen, and more. Gifts and other giveaways were made possible thanks to event sponsors Onco 360 and Pepsi Bottling Group of Utica, as well as donations from UR Medicine Wilmot Cancer Institute, PepsiCo, and Affinity Sales.
National Cancer Survivors Day began in 1987 and has since become a widely recognized event sponsored by the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation. It takes place on the first Sunday in June each year. Bassett's annual event is open to anyone who has received a diagnosis of cancer, regardless of where it was treated. Ostrander is already making plans for June 5, 2022.