Aretha Franklin Headlining John Theurer Cancer Center at HackensackUMC’s Fourth Annual Celebrating Life And Liberty

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John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the nation’s top 50 hospitals for cancer, will feature a special performance by the legendary Aretha Franklin at its Fourth Annual Celebrating Life and Liberty event. The event is intended to celebrate survivorship and give inspiration and support to those in the cancer community who are still in treatment or recovery.

In 2011, Celebrating Life and Liberty event drew upwards of 2,200 people, and even larger crowds are expected this year

“I am honored to be a part of such an important and meaningful celebration,” said headlining performer and 18-time Grammy award winner Aretha Franklin.

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John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the nation’s top 50 hospitals for cancer, will feature a special performance by the legendary Aretha Franklin at its Fourth Annual Celebrating Life and Liberty event. The event is intended to celebrate survivorship and give inspiration and support to those in the cancer community who are still in treatment or recovery.

“I am honored to be a part of such an important and meaningful celebration,” said headlining performer and 18-time Grammy award winner Aretha Franklin. “Cancer patients too often feel socially isolated as a result of their disease, so building a strong sense of community and support network is especially important. No one should have to go through cancer feeling alone.”

This free celebration will be held on Sunday, September 30 from 10:00am to 3:00 pm in Liberty State Park, NJ. Celebrating Life and Liberty attendees can explore a wide-range of interactive activities for adults and children, such as yoga, music by cancer survivor Charlie Lustman of the Musical Hope campaign, guest photography with the Statue of Liberty and more. More than 15 cancer advocacy organizations will provide information about their services for all aspects of cancer care, support, and survivorship.

"It is a privilege to have the legendary Aretha Franklin join us for this celebration of life and fight against cancer,” Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer at Hackensack University Medical Center. “It is our hope that cancer patients and caregivers alike can draw inspiration and strength from her music, and from each other, as they continue their cancer journey."

In 2011, Celebrating Life and Liberty event drew upwards of 2,200 people, and even larger crowds are expected this year. John Theurer Cancer Center patients, caregivers and the dedicated healthcare staff who have played important roles in their journeys are encouraged to attend. This year’s event is extended to the divisions of Regional Cancer Care Associates and all survivors and caregivers in the tri-state area.

"Those of us who have the privilege to work with patients celebrate their path to health and survivorship every day, but I'm particularly proud that we have been able to set aside one day each year, under the protective gaze of Lady Liberty to bring our patients, their families and caregivers and our staff together to celebrate!" said Andre Goy, M.D., M.S., chairman and director and chief of lymphoma, John Theurer Cancer Center. "Cancer patients and survivors draw a collective strength, hope and inspiration from each other when they are able to collectively support each other in their journey to health through events such as this celebration of Life and Liberty."

This extraordinary celebration was initially conceived by Dr. Goy to serve as an important reminder that just like the 12 million immigrants who passed through Ellis Island, another 12 million face an equally long and hard journey – cancer.

Shared storytelling has been shown by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to improve health outcomes by influencing prevention and promoting healthy changes in lifestyle, providing social connections to support prevention and control, supporting informed decision making, and helping to meet the many emotional needs surrounding the stressful times of diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship in ways that help those affected by cancer improve the length and quality of their lives.

“Extraordinary care goes far beyond the care provided in our cancer center. Our fight against cancer begins with community prevention programs, continues with world-class treatment, and is followed by healthy survivorship initiatives,” said Andrew Pecora, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.P.E., chief innovations officer and professor and vice president of cancer services, John Theurer Cancer Center. “Celebrating Life and Liberty gives an opportunity to celebrate with all our patients wherever they are in their cancer journey.”

John Theurer Cancer Center is also asking the 2.3 million people with cancer online to join by following live @JTCancerCenter Twitter updates and liking the JTCancerCenter group page as well as using #LifeLiberty when sharing their stories of survivorship to inspire others.

This free event is made possible through the generosity of sponsors, including Hackensack University Medical Center, as well as a variety of donations including financial support, services, event supplies, and raffle items. For sponsorship opportunities and other donations contact 551-996-3720. While this event is free, registration is required at jtcancercenter.org/LifeLiberty or 201-996-3252.

About Celebrating Life and Liberty
Founded in 2009, the John Theurer Cancer Center invites all their patients and their families every year to celebrate Life and Liberty with the ultimate symbol of freedom – the Statue of Liberty. The event serves an important reminder that just like the 12 million immigrants who passed through Ellis Island, another 12 million face an equally long and hard journey – cancer.

About John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center
John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University is among the nation’s top 50 U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals for cancer – the highest-ranked in New Jersey with this designation. It is New Jersey's largest and most comprehensive cancer center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, preventive care, as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancer.

Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to the John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. The 14 specialized divisions feature a team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. The John Theurer Cancer Center provides comprehensive multidisciplinary care, state of the art technology, access to clinical trials, compassionate care and medical expertise—all under one roof. For more information please visit jtcancercenter.org.

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