The Sussex County Cancer Survivors Fund was honored June 8 with the new Spirit of Hope Caregivers Award for its support of local cancer patients treated at Beebe Medical Center’s Tunnell Cancer Center.
Presenting the award were Cherrie Rich, RN, executive director of Oncology Services at Beebe Medical Center, and Srihari Peri, MD, medical director of Medical Oncology. The presentation was made in the sanctuary of All Saint’s Episcopal Church in Rehoboth Beach during the formal celebration of the 10th Annual Miracle Mile cancer survivors walk. The walk along the Boardwalk took place following the ceremony.
“The Sussex County Cancer Survivors Fund has raised and donated $101,000 to Tunnell Cancer Center to support our Special Needs Fund,” said Judith Ramirez, EdD, manager of Outreach and Psychosocial Services and event organizer. “This money is used to pay for special needs of our patients that have included anything from dental work to a heating bill to a mortgage. It would have been impossible for us to help our patients in this way without this organization.”
Accepting the award were fund members Neal and Bevann Kubala, Kenny Hopkins and Betty Streett. SCCSF raises money through fundraising events throughout the community. Several local organizations help with fundraising efforts, and many people also make donations. In accepting the award, Neal Kubala thanked all those in the community for their support.
More than 100 people packed the church sanctuary. Peri gave an emotional message of hope. Jody Barbarulo, Carol Hunt, Alvin Smith and Joyce Rickards performed inspirational music. The cancer survivors and their families and friends walked along the Boardwalk to the music of bagpipes played by Rehoboth Beach resident and software designer Henry DeWitt.
Miracle Mile, which marks National Cancer Survivors’ Day, has attracted hundreds of cancer survivors, their friends, family members and healthcare providers to Rehoboth Beach to share in the celebration of life and in the survivors' focus on making each day a special one. The Spirit of Hope Award was conceived as a way to honor those who make a significant difference in a cancer survivor’s life. Nominations were received from around the community. The award was inspired last year by the work of a 13-year-old girl who led a community effort to create 1,000 origami cranes offering messages of hope. The cranes hang at Tunnell Cancer Center.
Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness and restore optimal health with the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities it serves. For more information, go to www.beebemed.org.