Thrivers-and-Staff-320x320 JA-HT-224x300

Thrivers, caregivers, volunteers and staff gather for a day of thriver events!

Last Saturday, March 22, the Foundation attended M.D. Anderson’s S.C.O.P.E. 5K and hosted a thriver meet and greet in Houston, TX following the run.  The day was filled with camaraderie, support, and a feeling of togetherness.

The run was a morning event that featured a survivor fair where the Foundation had a table that served as a beacon for anal cancer thrivers to come together to meet with each other.  For some thrivers, this was their first time connecting with a peer who has had a similar journey.  A post-race celebration with music, food, and an awards ceremony topped off the morning’s event.

After the run, Foundation Executive Director, Justine Almada, and Director of Patient Services and External Relations, Kassandra Samman, hosted anal cancer thrivers and their loved ones at an informal meet and greet.  Stories and experiences were shared among the group.  It was a wonderful opportunity for thrivers to connect and build the community.  Often thrivers go through their anal cancer experience never connecting with fellow thrivers let alone meeting a group of them in person!  To ensure thrivers don’t have to experience anal cancer alone, we have created a Peer Support Program for anal cancer thrivers and their caregivers. It was a wonderful experience and we look forward to sharing days like this with many more thrivers in the future!

The S.C.O.P.E. run was co-founded by one of our scientific advisory board members and oncologist at M.D. Anderson’s cancer center Dr. Cathy Eng.  Of the 5K, Dr. Eng says, “The Sprint for Colorectal Oncology Prevention and Education event (S.C.O.P.E.) was created to bring recognition and awareness to the significance of colorectal and anal cancers. We also celebrate colorectal and anal survivorship and focus not only on our cancer free patients but also our courageous patients that continue to face cancer every day.”

Our next thriver event will be an educational forum in San Francisco, CA on May 13, 2014 that is focused on life after treatment for anal cancer.