Celebration of Life
Living With Cancer
A blog about the challenges of living with breast cancer written by experienced oncology social worker and two time breast cancer survivor Hester Hill-Schnipper
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Celebration of Life
Hundreds of cancer survivors and their families attended BIDMC’s 18th annual Celebration of Life on the Harvard Medical School quad Sunday, May 23 to raise awareness about the battle against cancer. Relevant workshops, inspirational stories of survival, and overwhelming support from family and friends highlighted this daylong event, which was free and open to the public.
For the 18th year, Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, Program Manager, Oncology Social Work at BIDMC, and her husband, Lowell Schnipper, MD, Chief, Hematology/Oncology, organized the popular celebration, which drew an estimated 800 participants despite unseasonably chilly temperatures.
“This ‘winter version of the Celebration of Life’ drew a large crowd of cancer patients/survivors and their families to the HMS Quad. In spite of the cold, enthusiasm and feelings were intense and warm, and the day was a reminder of the many blessings of our community and care at BIDMC,” Hester Hill Schnipper said.
The inspirational event, which was first organized by BIDMC in 1993 to coincide with the National Cancer Survivors Day, has become a popular day for those whose lives have been touched by the devastating disease.
BIDMC is able to provide Celebration of Life free of charge to the Boston community thanks to charitable giving. Generous supporters contributed more than $76,000 for this year’s activities. Without the support of our donors, this event, and all that we offer, would not be possible.
Throughout the day, 29 different workshops led by our very own BIDMC faculty and staff as well as other community experts covered relevant topics ranging from specific cancers and treatments to using art and writing to express emotion and yoga as a recovery tool. There was also a panel discussion with cancer survivors.
In addition to the educational opportunities, guests were treated to a display of art, photography, sculpture, and crafts created by cancer patients and members of the cancer community and a book of poems and writings. There was also the opportunity to get a massage, Reiki treatments, and make-up consultations, as well as a raffle and silent auction.
If you are interested in supporting Celebration of Life, either through an individual gift or corporate sponsorship, please make your gift online.